Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today said the Congress manifesto had ratified the good work done by the SAD-BJP government in many fields and could not come up with anything new except for promising to continue welfare measures being undertaken by the akali-BJP alliance if it comes to power.
Addressing newsmen here the SAD president said the Congress document was bereft of any new initiatives and had even gone back on the loan waiver promise for which the party had got lakhs of forms filled from farmers. He said the level of skullduggery being practiced by the party could be seen from the fact that the nine point programme released by Amarinder yesterday promised a loan waiver to farmers but the fine print in the official manifesto copy released by former PM Manmohan Singh only states that the party will vigorously pursue to get the loan waiver done. “Why did you befool farmers for all these months if you did not have any intention of putting this issue in your manifesto?” the SAD president asked.
Speaking about the manifesto, Mr Badal said it did not mention anything about increasing power generation which has already been done. “It only spoke about giving power at Rs 4.99 per unit which our government has been doing since one year now”. He said similarly the manifesto did not say anything about development of the 170 towns in the State or providing clean water and sewerage facilities to their residents as this has already been achieved. “The manifesto did not mention a single word about improving the road network which has already been done”.
The SAD president said what the manifesto did talk about was continuing free power facility besides increasing the amount being given to the people under welfare schemes which are already been run by the government. “Look at the intellectual bankruptcy of the Congress. It could not come up with one innovative idea in its manifesto”.
Among other contradictions and falsities, Mr Badal said the manifesto claimed the Congress will get a special tax status for Punjab. “Apparently the party does not know that this is the job of the centre. Why could’nt the UPA do this during its ten year rule?” he asked. He also ridiculed the party’s stand that it would end VIP culture. He said all Congress legislators were using red lights despite having put in their papers. He said Punjab Pradesh Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh and even manifesto committee head Manpreet Badal’s father Gurdas were using red lights. He said Manpreet’s family was using more than twenty gun men while Amarinder had hundred plus gun men on duty with him. He said the talk about not using helicopters was laughable. Amarinder used the helicopter to go from Chandigarh to Mohali as CM. Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal is even now asking for government accommodation”.
Mr Badal also took on the credibility of Manpreet Badal to promise subsidies. He said Manpreet had left the SAD as he wanted an end to the free power subsidy being given to farmers. He said apparently Manpreet did not even know what was already in force in the State. He said the Congress was promising to waive input tax on food processing industry while the truth was that both input and output taxes had already been waived. He said similarly it had promised to give Rs one lakh for education of children when Rs 1.5 lakh was already being given for this purpose by the centre.
Answering a question, he said AAP leader Bhagwant Mann was stooping down to low levels by instigating people to violence. He said this was indicative of the frustration of the leader as his campaign was not getting any traction in Jalalabad. Making it clear that the SAD believed in peace and harmony, he said this however should not be taken as a sign of weakness.
The SAD president also welcomed prominent Congress leader from Kartarpur – Rajesh Kumar into the akali fold at the press conference which was attended by Advisor Manjinder Singh Sirsa, General Secretary Harcharan Bains, Secretary Charanjit Brar, Media Advisor to SAD Pressident - Jangveer Singh.