Senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia today demanded Apprentice Linemen be recruited in the PSPCL as promised by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and as per earlier norms, even as he asked chief minister Bhagwant Mann to follow the ideals of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh in letter and spirit and not try to crush the voice of democratic dissent with brutal force.
The former minister, who visited Bhedpura village near here to express solidarity with Apprentice Linemen who are agitating atop an electricity tower, said it was shocking that the chief minister was taking out full page advertisements on the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh but not guarding the principles associated with the Shaheed.
“Apprentice Linemen, PTI teachers and even Associate Professors are being beaten mercilessly and humiliated when they try to meet the chief minister to remind him of the promises made to them.
The chief minister should search his conscience and tell whether this is the way to commemorate the anniversary of the Shaheed and treat unemployed sections of society who are demanding their just rights”.
Asserting that eight of the Apprentice Linemen were from the chief minister’s village Satoj while another fifty were from Sangrur constituency, Mr Majithia said “these youth now say the chief minister who had promised to give them jobs as was done during the SAD led government, refuses to meet them now”.
He said it was unjust to put conditions of tests to recruit linemen when earlier recruitments were done on the basis of ITI diploma and apprentice certificate. He also said the Apprentice Linemen were justly worried that their jobs would be given to non-Punjabis as had happened in other cases recently and demanded that only Punjab domicile candidates should be considered for permanent recruitment in the State.
Telling the chief minister not to do lip service to the cause of the unemployed, Mr Majithia said AAP and even it’s Convener Arvind Kejriwal had been exposed by PTI union member Sippy Sharma who was forced to climb atop a water tank at Khatkar Kalan to draw the attention of her “brother”.
“Kejriwal had called Sippy Sharma his sister during the assembly election campaign but it seems this was only a drama and the sister has now been forgotten”.Assuring complete support to the agitating Apprentice Linemen, Mr Majithia also rang up the SSP and told him to ensure they were not intimidated by the local police.
He said the youth were being harassed by the local police which would not be tolerated at any cost.Telling the AAP government not to cheat all sections of society in the name of Bhagat Singh, Mr Bikram Majithia said instead of discussing the plight of unemployed youth, farmers, employees and industry, the AAP government was busy in moving and holding discussions on a confidence motion.
“This is being done solely to fulfill the agenda of Arvind Kejriwal who wants to be projected as an alternative to the Prime Minister”. He said the cost of holding the assembly session at the rate of Rs one crore per day should be levied on AAP as it had wasted public funds to further its political agenda.Senior leader Surjit Singh Rakhra and Iqbal Singh Jhundan besides Jaspal Singh Chatha and Winnerjit Goldy also accompanied Mr Majithia.