No compromise on anti-corruption plank by Capt Amarinder govt, says Jakhar

Pathankot/Batala, October 7 (Ashwani Bhagat)- The Captain Amarinder Singh led government will not compromise on its anti-corruption agenda at any cost, Sunil Jakhar, the Punjab Congress candidate for Gurdaspur bypoll, said on Saturday. Addressing a traders and retailers association meeting in Pathankot, Jakhar said the Congress government in the state was committed to wiping out corruption and to bringing to book anyone found guilty of corruption, which he described as one of the major challenges before the government.
Jakhar assured the traders and retailers that the issue of delay in payment of commission to depot owners was being resolved by the government. He lamented the plight of the industry and agriculture in the state and stressed the need for crop diversification and technical upgradation of farming practices. The Congress nominee ridiculed Sukhbir Badal for his proposal to set up an airport at Pathankot, saying he (Jakhar) had requested the chief minister to provide an AC coach for the region to enable the farmers to transport their fresh fruits and vegetables.
Earlier in the day, Jakhar lambasted the Badals for running the government as a personal fiefdom, to fill their own coffers at the cost of the state exchequer, during their decade-long rule. At a meeting with Anaj Mandi Aartiya Association in Batala, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president said the Badals were never interested in the welfare of the state and had spent those 10 years promoting their business interests. They were only keen to make money out of their transport service, not caring about the losses incurred by Punjab Roadways in the process, said Jakhar, citing an example of the business empires built by the Akali leaders.
Blaming the ill-conceived policies of the erstwhile SAD-BJP government for the agrarian crisis and the spate of continuing farmer suicides in Punjab, Jakhar said the Badal government had siphoned away Rs 3200 crore of the state’s money to the Centre to cover up their own frauds. The cash-crunched state government was now giving interest on the loan taken against this amount, and would eventually have to pay a whopping Rs 7000 crore to the central government, he lamented, adding that the farmers of Punjab were paying the price for this.
Pointing out that the Modi government at the Centre was also following anti-farmer and anti-poor policies, Jakhar quipped that in a country where rulers become businessmen, the common people end up as beggars. Dubbing the Modi government as a government of industrialists and business houses, the PPCC chief said despite the declining global fuel prices, the cost of petrol and diesel in India was shooting through the roof because of the Centre’s anti-people philosophy. Traders and small businessmen were angry with the Modi government and the people of the country lived in a state of perpetual fear, Jakhar observed, adding that even during the festive season of Diwali there was a pall of gloom everywhere. Every time Narendra Modi comes out with his `mann ki baat’, people get scared, not knowing what bombshell he planned to throw now, said Jakhar, referring to the prime minister’s live radio programme and his demonetisation announcement. The Congress alone could put a check on the country’s deteriorating situation, said the Punjab Congress president, assuring the people that the Captain Amarinder Singh led government in the state would put Punjab back on the path of development and progress in the remaining four and a half years of its rule. Later, at a meeting of booth in-charges, Jakhar said as the soldiers were the strength of the Army at the border front, he and the party were standing with them and would ensure that all the local problems of the region get resolved. Every promise made by the Congress to the people would be fulfilled, he asserted. Several MLAs and other leaders joined Jakhar in his campaign through the day as he went around the constituency, holding meetings and rallies.
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