Gurdaspur, 25 September(Wishav Warta): Punjab Congress president and Gurdaspur candidate Sunil Jakhar on Monday unleashed a scathing attack on the Badals on the farm loan waiver issue, charging Parkash Singh Badal with cheating the people of Punjab by backtracking on his promise to waive off the loans if the Akalis formed the government.
Waving a November 2006 newspaper clipping quoting Badal as saying that farm loans would be waived off if his party came to power, Jakhar told a workers meeting in Batala that despite being elected to the government twice, the Akalis did not give a single penny to the farmers and now had the audacity to criticise the Captain Amarinder Singh government for not giving enough.
If the Badals deemed Rs 2 lakh as insufficient they should go and plead the case of Punjab farmers with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Jakhar, pointing out that though the Akalis had left an empty treasury, Captain Amarinder had waived off the loans of 10.25 lakh farmers, of whom 8.25 lakh were those whose entire debt had been waived off.
Referring to an incident in which 37 people had died in Batala due to unfit drinking water, Jakhar recalled that not only had he staged a protest dharna in the area but had also taken up the issue in Assembly. He promised to take all problems of the people to the Parliament House once elected MP.
Even as Leader of Opposition he had accompanied Badal to meet then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Jakhar further recalled, asserting that for him, the interests of Punjab had always been supreme but the Badals had been extremely biased in spending funds in constituencies represented by Congress MLAs during Akali regime.
Jakhar promised the workers that he would fight for central grants for Gurdaspur while Captain Amarinder, who treated him (PPCC president) as his `laadla’, would give enough state funds for the region’s development.
At Batala, and earlier at Gurdaspur Election Ofice, Jakhar came down heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over its anti-people economic policies and efforts to divide the country on communal lines. He flayed the Centre for inflation, particularly the unreasonable hike in petrol prices, and the demonetisation which had led to the death of 200 people across the country.
Addressing a meeting of Christian workers at the Election Office, Gurdaspur, Jakhar exhorted them to cast their votes keeping in view the current situation, in which BJP rulers sitting in Delhi were dictating which religion to follow and what to eat or wear.
Vowing to raise his voice any every injustice meted out to the people, Jakhar said the Congress had always been a secular force, in sharp contrast to the BJP, which was threatening the communal harmony of the entire country.
Besides MLAs Pargat Singh and Barindermeet Singh Pahra, Congress leader Fateh Jung Bajwa was also present at the meeting, while in Batala, Congress MLA Ashwani Sekhri lauded the nomination of Jakhar as commendable. MLA Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria was also present.