The Punjab Congress has hit out at the Badal government for going berserk in announcing all kinds of sops to woo voters in the state while taking no steps to rein in their party leaders and workers, who they said had unleashed a wave of terror and violence against the common people.In a statement issued here on Friday, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) leaders Kushaldeep Dhillon, Kaka Sukhjit Singh Lohgarh and Darshan Singh Brar reacted strongly to the arrest of the SAD women’s wing president in Faridkot on attempted murder charges, coupled with the spate of sops announced by the Badal government, which held its third cabinet meeting this month on Thursday.These developments underline not only the complete disregard of all political and electoral norms by the Badal government but also the extent of their patronization of criminals and mafias, and the law and order deterioration in the state under their rule, said the PPCC leaders. Gun-toting Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders and workers have been going around creating mayhem among the people by resorting to violence and terror tactics, with several incidents of this nature having come to light in recent weeks, the PPCC leaders said, pointing out that Akali sarpanches, supporters, youth leaders and goons backed by them have virtually taken over the state’s law and order machinery, with no fear of reprisal.The Faridkot incident, in which the SAD women’s wing president was allegedly involved in the attempted murder of a 17-year-old youth over a property dispute, came a day after a Ludhiana trader was badly beaten up by an Akali youth leader and his supporters, PPCC leaders pointed out. They also referred to the Mansa Dalit youth killing by illicit liquor mafia, saying the failure of the police administration to arrest the culprits had triggered widespread protests by the family of the victim in the region.
Even as the people of Punjab continue to live under a reign of terror, violence and victimization, the Badal government is busy trying desperately to woo the voters with all kinds of sops and schemes, the Punjab Congress leaders said.The Badals, they said, had not stopped at even inaugurating incomplete projects to beat the code of conduct, which was soon expected to be imposed by the Election Commission. “If the government was so concerned about the welfare of the people of the state why did it not complete its various half-done projects all these years? Why were things like regularization of staff, creation of new vacancies, LPG for the needy people in the BPL category etc not done earlier, following the due process of law?” the PPCC leaders asked.The haste with which the Badals are now trying to push through their so-called welfare schemes shows their frustration as they stare at inevitable defeat in the coming polls, said the PPCC leaders, urging the people of Punjab not to be misled by these desperate measures and to raise their voice against the injustice meted out to them by the Akalis.