Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today said the advent of the SAD-BSP alliance government in Punjab would witness an increase in social welfare schemes and that the old age pension would be increased from Rs 1,500 per month to Rs 3,100 per month and the shagun benefit to brides from weaker sections would be increased to Rs 75,000.Addressing a large public gathering here in favour of party candidate Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, the SAD President said “we are also committed to restoring all blue cards which have been scrapped by the Congress government to ensure subsidized ration is available to the weaker sections”. He also announced that the women head of below poverty line families would also get an allowance of Rs 2,000 per month and that all domestic consumers would get 400 units of free power per month.
Launching an attack on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Mr Sukhbir Badal urged Punjabis to beware of its false propaganda. He said AAP and its Convener Arvind Kejriwal were asking Punjabis for their votes by asking them to give the party one chance. “The truth is that Punjabis did give a chance to AAP in the 2017 assembly elections and even made it the principal opposition party”. He said instead of raising the issues of Punjabis, eleven out of its twenty legislators shifted over to the Congress party. “Punjabis cannot trust such a party ever again”, he added.Mr Badal also spoke on how AAP had sold all its tickets. He said AAP was fond of saying it would give tickets to ordinary persons but had given 65 out of 117 tickets to political turncoats. Speaking about the Patiala district, Mr Badal said besides giving tickets to turncoats from Patiala City and Sanaur, the party had also awarded the party ticket to a proclaimed offender in Sanaur. He also showed photographs to prove that the local AAP candidate Gurlal Ghanaur was mixed up with the drug mafia. “How can you trust such nefarious elements to safeguard your interests”, he added.
The SAD also spoke on how AAP had not implemented a single promise which it was making in Punjab in Delhi. He said AAP had not given a single rupee to any woman in Delhi for the last eight years even as it was promising Rs 1,000 per month to all women in Punjab. He said similarly the alleged 200 units per month free power facility to people in Delhi had already proven to be sham with consumers being charged for the entire bill even they consumed one unit more than the prescribed limit. He said similarly Arvind Kejriwal was promising to regularize all contractual employees in Punjab, even as he was on record to have stated that contractual employees did not work if their services were regularized. “How can you trust the promises made by such a person?” he asked.Stating that the SAD was the true representative of the panth and Punjab, Mr Badal said “we have always safeguarded your interest. We have always fulfilled all commitments made by us be it free power to farmers, making the State power surplus or launching the old age pension scheme, shagun scheme and the aata-daal scheme. In future also we will also implement all the promises made to you”, Mr Badal added.