Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today said Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Convener Arvind Kejriwal did not come to Punjab for the last five years and did not have any right to ask for another chance from Punjabis.The SAD president was addressing a public gathering in favour of Sujanpur party candidate Raj Kumar Gupta.Asserting that Kejriwal was trying to deceive Punjabis yet again, Mr Sukhbir Badal said “you have already suffered by trusting the false oaths taken by former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh. Now a party of outsiders is trying to sway you by asking you to give it one chance. I ask AAP why Punjabis should trust AAP. Its Convener came to Punjab five years back and his party even won 20 seats to emerge as the principal opposition party in the State. However instead of raising the voice of the people, eleven out of its 20 legislators merged with the Congress”.
Mr Badal said Kejriwal had also ditched Punjabis like Capt Amarinder Singh. “The AAP Convener did not even come to Punjab more than once a year before the start of the election process. He did not care to send any medicines to Punjab as chief minister of Delhi. He did not even visit the State during the Covid pandemic. How can you trust him to stand by you in case you give him a chance and elect AAP to power?” Mr Badal asked.Urging Punjabis to reject outsiders, the SAD president said the SAD-BSP alliance alone represented the regional aspirations of the people. He said Punjabis across the country and even the world looked up to the SAD to resolve their grievances. “We have successfully resolved problems being faced by Punjabis across the world”.Mr Badal said erstwhile SAD led governments also had a time tested track record. “We made Punjab power surplus. We are also responsible for bringing in world class road and air connectivity to Punjab. We introduced unique initiatives like free power to farmers which is not being offered to farmers anywhere else in the country. We also brought in social welfare schemes like old age pension, aata-daal and shagun scheme which have helped the weaker sections of society to stand up on their feet”.
Spelling out the SAD-BSP agenda for Punjab, Mr Badal said all blue cards which had been deleted by the Congress government would be restored within one month of formation of the SAD-BSP government. He also announced that Rs 2,000 per month would be given to the woman head of below poverty line families, all consumers would be given 400 units of power free of cost, Rs ten lakh medical insurance cover would be given to all and that students will be eligible to a Rs 10 lakh loan for higher studies besides 33 per cent reservation in technical institutions (government school students). He also announced that all those who did not have a home would be given a five marla plot of land and that a 500 bed medical college would be established in every district of the State.The SAD president also announced that the area around the Thein dam would be developed as a tourism hub. “We have chalked out a plan to make an investment of Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 crore in the area by developing world class resorts, water sports facilities and an entertainment park. We will make it mandatory for licensees to recruit employees from the Dhar block only”, he said adding this would create employment opportunities in the region.