Akali Dal promises MSP for vegetables, fruits in Punjab
Chandigarh, March 1 (IANS) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal on Monday announced that the party would not only implement the three agricultural laws in Punjab but will also provide minimum support price (MSP) on vegetables and fruits.
Addressing the party activists here, who later courted arrest to demand the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to explain why he had betrayed people by failing to implement the promises, Badal announced a ‘Lok Lehar’ against the Congress government from March 12 during the course of which rallies will be held across all the constituencies.
He also made it clear that after forming the government the party would reduce urban power bills by half, give free education to the Scheduled Caste and Backward Class students and ensure cemented roads, drains and potable water in all 12,000 villages.
Speaking about the Chief Minister, Badal said he had not only insulted the people but also the holy Gutka Sahib by taking a false oath that he would implement a complete farm loan waiver once voted to power, besides a host of other promises.
He said these included eradicating drugs within four weeks, ensuring jobs to each household, giving unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 to youth, increasing the old-age pension to Rs 2,500 per month and increasing the Shagun outlay to Rs 51,000.
“Not one of these promises has been fulfilled,” the SAD president said adding more than 1,500 farmers had committed suicide in despair even as the government had failed to give them the promised Rs 10 lakh compensation and government job.
“Old-age pension of five lakh families has been scrapped even as blue cards of six lakh ‘aata-daal’ beneficiaries have been struck off the rolls.”
Stating that instead of doing anything, the Congress government had closed down Sewa Kendras established during the SAD rule as well as meritorious schools, stopped supply of free medicines and SC scholarship scheme for the Dalit students.
“This is not all, the Congress government has hiked power tariff by more than 30 per cent and even increased state share of VAT on petroleum products phenomenally.”
He said the state government should reduce its share of taxes on petrol and diesel before trying to indulge in sham ‘dharnas’ on high prices of petroleum products as was done by Pradesh Congress President Sunil Jakhar.
Asking the people to tell one achievement or work of the Amarinder Singh government, Badal said in direct contrast the Parkash Singh Badal government had earlier made Punjab power surplus, built four- and six-lane roads across the state, built irrigation channels and released lakhs of tubewell connections.
“SAD is also responsible for establishing the MSP regime and Mr Parkash Singh Badal is responsible for the establishment of more than 90 per cent of the agricultural mandis of the state.”
He said in direct contrast Punjab had fallen in all parameters during the Congress rule with the per capita income in the state slipping below the national average for the first time in its history because of complete lack of infrastructure development.
“Besides taking up these issues in the budget session, we will take all these issues to the people through a Lok Lehar movement starting on March 12 in all constituencies of the state,” he added.