Punjab Lok Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh today said that the state needed the National Democratic Alliance government for security as well as economic revival.Capt Amarinder also criticized the Congress party’s decision to nominate Charanjit Singh Channi as the Chief Ministerial candidate despite serious allegations of corruption after seizure of Rs 10 crores from the possession of his nephew.Addressing a function organized by the District Bar Association, Patiala here today, Capt Amarinder said, India faced grave security challenges from the China-Pakistan-Taliban’ nexus. “The challenge will be greater for Punjab for being at the forefront with a 600 km long border”, he said, while adding, “we need a government that will take the security challenge seriously and work in close coordination with the central government”.The former Chief Minister gave details of the highly sophisticated drones being used by Pakistan to smuggle weapons, drugs and counterfeit currency to this side of the border. He criticized the Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi for “senseless” opposition to the extension of the operational jurisdiction of the Border Security Force, which, he said, was the need of the hour.
Referring to the economic situation prevailing in the state, Capt Amarinder said, while the GDP of Punjab was 5.25 lakh crores, 70 percent of it was borrowed. He said, it is a humongous task to come out of this debt trap, which cannot be possible without the cooperation and support of the central government.The former Chief Minister said, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government at the centre was going to be there, at least, for another seven years. “We must have a government in Punjab that will work with him as that is the only way out”, he said.On the agriculture front, he said, the NDA had released the agriculture specific manifesto, which promised several important things like guaranteed MSP for alternate crops and debt waiver for the farmers with less than five acres of land. He assured that every promise made in the manifesto will be fulfilled as everything related to financing these promises had already been worked out.
Later talking to reporters, Capt Amarinder said, it was surprising that despite the huge seizure of corruption money from the possession of Channi’s nephew, the Congress had declared him as the CM candidate. This shows the level of despair in the Congress party, as it had to compromise on corruption. He pointed out, CM’s nephew had told the investigating agencies that the money seized was collected from the sand mining mafia and transfer of officers.Capt Amarinder thanked the District Bar Association for extending support to him. He said he had a long association with the Bar and he would always make it a point to meet the members every time he fought elections.Earlier while welcoming Capt Amarinder, DBA President, JPS Ghuman expressed gratitude on behalf of the Bar saying, he (Capt Amarinder) had done a lot for the lawyers’ community in Patiala.He said, the chambers and place where lawyers were sitting were got built by Capt Amarinder when he was the Chief Minister. He assured full support of the DBA for Capt Amarinder.Others present on the occasion included City Mayor Sanjeev ‘Bittu’ Sharma, who is the candidate from Patiala Rural, Avneet Binny, District BJP President Narinder Kohli and others.