Chandigarh, 8 September(Wishav Warta): The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said the Congress government had failed Punjabis in all aspects in the last six months by reneging on each and every promise made to them, even as it asserted that the party would launch a people movement to force fulfillment of Congress poll promises.
Addressing media persons here, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said “I had earlier said that we will give time to the new government to deliver. It is completing six months in office soon. Their six month tenure can at best be described as one in which they raised false hopes with false promises and indulged in blatant lies, fraud and betrayal. We will take the government to task. Our core committee will decide on an agitation programme on September 16”.
Taking up the major Congress failures in the last six months, the SAD president said the government had failed to waive off loan of even one farmer in the State despite a written commitment by Capt Amarinder Singh which was handed over to farmers through forms distributed to them. “This commitment was reiterated by the chief minister both inside and outside the Vidhan Sabha. “Farmers still await waiver of loan worth Rs 90,000 crore. Forget doing anything for them, the government has raised market fee and rural development cess which will affect lakhs of farmers cultivating crops like basmati, cotton and vegetables which are not covered by msp. “These farmers will get less for their produce now as private purchasers will factor in the burden imposed by the new taxes”, he added.
Highlighting the injustices being done to farmers, Badal said ‘kurki’ was still being done in the State because the government had not amended the relevant clause in the Revenue Act. “More than 200 farmers have committed suicide but no family has been given the promised Rs 10 lakh compensation or government jobs. The government is even resorting to petty politics by releasing balance payment of sugarcane procured from farmers only in Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency because it is going to the polls soon”.
Telling how youth had been befooled, Badal said the government had promised “ghar ghar naukari” which translated to around ten lakh jobs per annum based on the figure of 50 lakh households in Punjab. “It is six months now. The government has failed to give a single job to any youth except one job of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) given to an over-age youth who happens to be the grand-son of former CM Beant Singh.” He said a fraud had been played out recently in the name of Rozgar Mela with the government appropriating the routine placement drive conducted by technical institutions every year. He said the credibility of the employment announcements could be seen from the one page government mou signed with Assocham which he released to the media. The mou does not even have a date.
The SAD president said the government had also run away from its promise to provide un-employment dole of Rs 2,500 per month to youth. He said now it was being claimed that youth would be offered skill development courses instead of giving them the promised allowance. “This is already being done under a central scheme. Whom is the Congress trying to fool?’’ He said it was a matter of days before the Congress reneged on its free mobile phone promise also.
Disclosing how the Congress government had failed the weaker sections, the SAD president said beneficiaries were not getting social welfare benefits including old age pension since January. “Shagun has not been disbursed since this government took over the reins of the State. Many other welfare schemes including medical insurance to farmers, cycles for girls, free 200 units of power to SC households, scholarships for SC students and Mukh Mantri Teerath Yatra have been discontinued. The weaker sections are also not getting tea leaves, sugar and ghee as promised in the Congress election manifesto.
The SAD president said what was even more disturbing was that there was no sanctity of decisions taken by the cabinet or those announced in the Vidhan Sabha. He said the decision to give unemployment allowance to youth as well as smart phones was announced in the Vidhan Sabha by the chief minister. He said similarly the CM announced in the assembly that electricity tariff would be frozen at Rs five per unit for new and existing industry. “All these announcements are yet to be implemented”. Mr Badal said even a decision taken in the very first cabinet meeting to regularize all contractual and ad-hoc employees had not been implemented till yet. “Nor has the cabinet decision to give free education to girls from primary to Phd level been implemented in this academic session. No money has been allocated for the Rs 100 crore start up fund for youth which was also announced by the CM in the Vidhan Sabha”, he added.
Badal stressed that while nothing positive had been done, there were negatives galore. “The government has been unable to manage finances due to which for the first time in the history of the State a government has defaulted on paying salaries to its employees. All development has been stalled. All grants sent to villages have been recalled. Even ongoing sewerage work has come to a stop in towns”.