Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday vowed to give `dusht’ (wicked) Badal a massive thrashing in Lambi for the atrocities he has committed against Dalits and other sections of Punjab’s society during the last 10 years of his misrule, and strongly opposing any move to withdraw reservation for this marginalized population.Addressing a series of election rallies in the Malwa belt, including Bassi Pathana, Payal and Amloh, Captain Amarinder flayed the Badals for ruining the state with their `lootmaar’ and also lashed out at AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal for planning to loot Punjab by misleading the people with his false promises.Captain Amarinder, who hit the campaign trail in the morning with an impressive public rally in Bassi Pathana, lambasted the Badals for their criminalization of Punjab through their patronization of all kinds of mafia, including transport, sand, liquor etc. Badals’ buses have been killing innocent people, while the entire state is reeling under total collapse, triggered by the Badal misgovernance and corrupt policies, he said, promising revival of the state’s growth and uplift of the backward sections through various public welfare schemes, including reservations in jobs, free housing and education, as well as expansion of the atta-dal scheme to encompass free sugar and tea.
“Baabe nunh Lambi vich kuttanga,” declared Captain Amarinder, amid thunderous applause. He assailed Badal’s sangat darshan as waste of public money, while also castigating the chief minister for allowing incidents of religious sacrilege to mar the state’s communal harmony. He described the incidents as an attempt by the Akalis to polarize the Punjab society ahead of the polls, saying Badal was not a true believer of Sikhi (Sikhism) since he was indulging in spreading communal disharmony.The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president said atrocities against Dalits had gone up manifold, increasing from 651 in 2007 to 12834 by 2015. Promising to bring Dalits back into the mainstream of the society with welfare schemes as promised in the party manifesto, Captain Amarinder said he would ensure that all those found guilty of any crime against Dalits are given exemplary punishment.Captain Amarinder also came down heavily on the drug mafia, which has been linked to the Badals and their close associate Bikram Singh Majithia, pointing out that 72% of the state’s youth were addicted to drugs, with lakhs being hooked and several dying of chitta consumption. None of the guilty will be spared, he promised the people, adding that he would teach Badal a well-deserved lesson from Lambi.
Captain Amarinder also asserted that he would give one job to each family, thus ensuring that the 90 lakh unemployed/underemployed youth in the state are given gainful employment to wean them away from drugs and put the state back on the path to progress.Lamenting the growing incidence of farmer suicides in the state, the Punjab Congress president reiterated his promise to waive off all farmer loans, with the government taking over their debts once his party comes to power.Captain Amarinder further attacked Badal for the total lack of development in the region, saying the Akali government had ruined the entire state, which he and his family members had been consistently looting over the past decade. From unemployment to collapse of industry, from the mafia rule of the Badals to the victimization of the innocent, the Badals had plunged Punjab into a state of despair, said Captain Amarinder, promising to ensure Badal’s total rout by defeating him in Lambi.
Promising revival of the industry, Captain Amarinder said he would ensure the refund of the Rs. 600 crore VAT by selling of the hotels of the Badals to generate the necessary revenue. Lamenting the closure of 220 steel units in the region, Captain Amarinder said at Amloh that the Congress, once elected to power, would give the state the much-needed modern economic management.Terming these assembly polls, which he has already declared to be his last, Captain Amarinder exhorted the people to exercise their vote judiciously as these elections “are a fight for our future.”The PPCC chief promised to get all the false cases against innocent people cancelled after getting them reinvestigated, adding that the Congress had the support of a lot of like-minded people, including a large number of NRIs, who would come in over the next two days to join the party’s campaign against the corrupt and criminal Akalis.Referring to Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Captain Amarinder said a party run by outsiders, which had failed to fulfill even a single promise made to the people of Delhi, could not be trusted to protect the interests of Punjab. Kejriwal has only come to loot the state and its people, as was evident from the way they had been selling tickets to candidates for contesting the polls.
Pointing out that as many as 19 MLAs of AAP had been arrested on rape and corruption charges in Delhi, Captain Amarinder said neither Kejriwal nor Badal could be entrusted with the governance of Punjab. Both of them, said the PPCC president, were “meesnas’ (cunning persons) who could not be trusted at any cost.Earlier, the Congress candidate from Bassi Pathana, Gurpreet GP, said Badal had only one agenda – to promote his own family interests, and pointed that while lakhs of youth were unemployed, as many as eight members of the Badal clam were ministers. Only Captain Amarinder, he said, could save the state and its farmers, the downtrodden, the youth and others.Payal Congress candidate Lakhvi Singh Lakha requested Captain Amarinder to sanction a medical college for the area, which he said should be given the status of market committee. Former state minister Tej Prakash was also present at the rally.In Mandi Gobindgarh, Amloh, the party candidate Kaka Randeep pointed out to the closure of industries, saying a large number of industrialists had fled the state. The situation, he said, was stark, with land prices also crashing across the state as a result of the degrowth under the Badal regime.