Rubbishing the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) poll manifesto as a bunch of lies aimed at misleading the people, Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said the Badals had failed to implement even 20% of the promises they made during the last elections.Were they sleeping all these years, Captain Amarinder asked, rejecting their offer of farm loan waiver as a mere gimmick with an eye on the polls and reiterating the Congress commitment to take over all the loans of the debt-ridden farmers and agricultural labourers immediately after assuming power in the state.Lamenting the pitiable condition in which the Badal-led SAD-BJP government had left the state after 10 years of shameful misrule, Captain Amarinder said they failed to do anything for the people in 10 years, and now, just 10 days before the polls they are asking people for another five years.“What stopped them from working in the interest of the people all these years? Or were they too busy filling their own coffers to think about the welfare of the people?” Captain Amarinder questioned, amid thunderous applause from the crowd at a public rally in Mansa.
He cited the multi-crore Pearl Group scam and a host of other scams to hit out at the Akalis for abusing public money to advance their personal interests.The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president said neither the Akalis nor the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal were interested in the welfare of the people of Punjab. Describing Kejriwal as a smooth and slimy operator, Captain Amarinder said the bribery and sex scandals involving AAP leaders and workers had made a mockery of his claims of providing clean and transparent governance.With all Punjab’s disputes with Haryana, how can a Haryanvi be trusted to stand by the people of Punjab, asked Captain Amarinder.Castigating the Badals for pushing Punjab to the brink of bankruptcy and plunging it into a state of anarchy and lawlessness through mis-governance and criminalization of the government, Captain Amarinder said the people of the state were suffering while they were building hotels and selling chitta.
Captain Amarinder vowed to unshackle the state from the clutches of the drug mafia within four weeks of taking over the state’s governance and bring the youth back into the mainstream of the society. “We will give jobs to the unemployed youth to divert them from drugs, liquor and other destructive habits,” he promised the people.He lambasted the Akalis for mortgaging the state’s assets to pay salaries after diverting the public funds to their own coffers, and asserted that Punjab needed an experienced government to bring it out of this rut.The PPCC president also hit out at Badal over the CIA report linking him with terrorism in Punjab and also assailed him for the growing intolerance in the state, as manifest in the increasing incidents of sacrilege.The Congress candidate from Mansa, Manju Bansal, also assured the people that the Congress government, under the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh, would alleviate their sufferings and bring Punjab back on the track of growth.