Chandigarh, February 25: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah over his blatant lies on the work done by the Badal government for the people of Punjab, saying the Akali supremo did not even know the meaning of the common man.

Lambasting Shah for trying to mislead the people with false allegations against his government, the Chief Minister said the BJP, along with its ally (SAD), had plummeted to the depths of shamelessness with their brazen lies in their desperate bid to get back some of their lost political ground in Punjab.

From their witch-hunts against opposition leaders, to their ridiculous accusations and claims, the BJP leaders were resorting to all kind of disgraceful tactics to get back into the public limelight, which the Modi government had completely lost with its non-performance of the past five years, said the Chief Minister.

Berating Shah for his ridiculous claim that former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had ruled Punjab as a common man, Captain Amarinder Singh said the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patron had been totally unconnected from the common man, whom he and his cronies had looted unashamedly during their misrule of the state. The SAD-BJP government had failed to take a single initiative for the people of Punjab, with the BJP at the Centre also failing to come out in support of the state despite the acute financial crisis faced by it.

“What have they done for the farmers? What did they do all these years to check stubble burning? What incentives have they given the industry? How many jobs did they give the youth? Who pushed the youth into drugs?,” the Chief Minister asked Shah, in a hard-hitting statement issued here. From health to education, from environment to development, could he cite a single scheme launched by the previous Badal-led government for the welfare of the people, Captain Amarinder Singh further demanded to know from the BJP president.

“And he (Shah) has the audacity to claim Badal functioned like a common man?,” said the Chief Minister, ridiculing the BJP chief over his total disconnect from the ground reality in Punjab. The reality, said Captain Amarinder Singh, was that the Congress government had not only revived the state’s growth but had delivered on each one of its promises to ensure the welfare of every section of the state, he added.

If they were really concerned about the common man, why did they allow farmers to continue to end their lives instead of rescuing them from their massive debts? They did not set up any STF, like the current government, nor did they launch any other scheme to save Punjab’s youth from destruction at the hands of the drug mafia, the Chief Minister pointed out.

Citing the success of his government’s Ghar Ghar Rozgar and Karobar Yojana in facilitating employment of youth, Captain Amarinder Singh further pointed out that the Badal government had no such scheme for the jobless men and women in the state. “My government has given industrial power subsidy, we have launched wellness clinics, projects for drinking water and sanitation, repair of rural link roads, smart city and smart village campaigns. We are building schools, colleges, roads and bridges. We have enhanced pensions, funds under Ashirward & other schemes. We are ensuring that the real beneficiaries get their due and the money is not pocketed by unscrupulous rulers and officials. We are getting back the lost industry and investments?,” the Chief Minister listed out, asking Shah if he could come up with even one meaningful initiative or welfare scheme that Badal might have launched for the common man.

Had the former chief minister done so, he would not have been thrown out so ignominiously by the people of Punjab in the 2017 Assembly elections, said Captain Amarinder Singh, adding that the coming Lok Sabha elections would see SAD-BJP end up with a worse count than ever before.

So stop misleading the people of Punjab and tell them what you have achieved in your government’s five years at the Centre, said the Chief Minister to Shah, adding that the BJP-led central government had failed to even give funds to ensure a befitting celebration of the 550th Parkash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji. This clearly shows their mindset and their anti-people sentiment, Captain Amarinder Singh asserted, warning the people against being swayed by their brazen and outrageous lies.

Punjab Khabarnama

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