" It contended that compensation under existing norms was too less and farmers would not…
Chandigarh: Giving a kick-start to AAP’s campaign for 2017 Punjab polls, its convener Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday launched a scathing attack on both Akalis and Congress, accusing them of being hand in glove with each other, and asked people to vote for AAP to end “corruption, drug abuse, farmer suicides” and put the state back on “right track”.
Hitting out at the Badals, the Delhi Chief Minister said that once his party comes to power, it will launch a commission of inquiry against the family to investigate their “misrule” in last ten years and send them behind bars.
Addressing a rally at Maghi Mela here, Kejriwal said if the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) forms government in Punjab, it will probe the sacrilege incidents in the state and take action against police officers for opening fire at protesting Sikhs at Behbal Kalan in which two persons were killed.
“Both Congress and SAD are hand in glove with each other. They do not have anything to do with the problems of people of the state. They are just for power – Amarinder (Singh) first, and then (Chief Minister Parkash Singh) Badal next… this goes on,” Kejriwal said. The AAP’s national convener pointed out that though both the leaders lodged cases against each other when they were in power, it did not affect the two much.
“What happened to them? The cases are going on in courts,” he said adding, there was a secret understanding between both parties not to allow anyone to rise against them. Citing an example to prove “deep bond” between Amarinder and Badal, he said, “Badal family members attended Amarinder’s grandson’s marriage. Amarinder and Badals are same.” “They do not care about people at all… You will have to decide which party you want in power.
Asserting that he was not scared of the Badals, Kejriwal said a commission would be set up to probe all the “wrongdoings” of the Badal government during the last 10 years and that they will be sent behind bars for them.
Taking a swipe at Badal, he said, “How can I be scared of Badal when I was not scared of Badal’s ‘Taau’ – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who sent CBI to raid me? It is Mulayam, Mayawati or Badal who can get scared of CBI. I am not.” He further lambasted Badal for “saving” Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia whose name allegedly cropped up in a drug racket. “Had I been a CM of Punjab, I would have sent Majithia to jail at once,” he said.
Kejriwal also took on Amarinder for not supporting a CBI probe the in drug racket case. “Why Amarinder supported Majithia? What is the relation between Amarinder and Majithia?” he asked.
“Next year when AAP forms government in Punjab, we will set up a commission to probe the drug racket and send Majithia to jail. Only AAP can send Majithia jail, Amarinder cannot put him behind bars,” he said. “Badals have looted Punjab in last 10 years. Farmers were forced to commit suicide,” Kejriwal alleged. The Delhi CM, wearing a green pullover and yellow turban, was accompanied by the party’s Punjab affairs incharge Sanjay Singh, Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, party convener (Punjab) Sucha Singh Chottepur, lawyer H S Phoola, Sukhpal Khaira and Himmat Singh Shergill, among others.
Touching upon emotional issues of Sikhs, the AAP national convener said it was his government in Delhi that had set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the anti-Sikh riots.
He also hit out at Badal government for allegedly paying “peanuts” to farmers whose crop got damaged. “I talked to several farmers here. They said they were paid compensation of Rs 15-18. Crops also got damaged in Delhi but we paid Rs 50,000 per hectare to affected farmers. No farmer in Delhi committed suicide,” he claimed.
“When AAP government comes to power (in Punjab), we will not let farmers to end their lives,” he added. On corruption, he said the Delhi government took strict action against officials who were involved in corruption. “People were fed up with corruption in Delhi. I took action against several officials who were charged with graft. Officers have now stopped demanding money. Though corruption has not been fully eliminated, we have been able to finish 80 per cent of corruption from Delhi,” he claimed and further went on to say that he had ordered suspension of one of his ministers in Delhi whose name figured in a corruption case.
Claiming that his government in Delhi was able to save “huge” money in the construction of bridges, he said, “Against a budget of Rs 250 crore, we successfully built a bridge in Delhi with a sum of Rs 150 crore, thus saving Rs 100 crore. It was for the first time in the history that Rs 100 crore were saved in building a bridge.”
“Another bridge is ready for launch. It has been constructed with a sum of Rs 300 crore against the proposed sum of Rs 425 crore,” he claimed. The Delhi CM mentioned several other achievements of his government including providing medical help to needy people.
“We have started giving medicines free of cost to patients in all government hospitals. Besides, the medical tests are free. We have opened dispensaries in rural areas where all medical tests and medicines are given free of cost to poor people,” he said. Referring to sacrilege incident in Kotakpura in Punjab last year, Kejriwal promised to send people involved in this heinous incident to jail. “I was very hurt with the Kotakpura incident where the sacrilege incident occurred… Then on the directions of Badal, police opened fire on Sikh protesters who were peacefully protesting in which two persons died.
“I take a vow that those who were involved in the incidents of sacrilege will be put behind bars. I will also send cops who fired at innocent people and police officials who ordered them to fire behind bars,” he said.
Raising the issue of alleged atrocities on Dalits, Kejriwal reffered to the Abohar murder case in which limbs of a Dalit man were chopped off.
“Has the state government acted in providing justice to the Dalits? We will give justice to Dalits for atrocities committed on them during last 10 years,” he said and promised that if AAP formed government in Punjab, it will dismiss all “false” cases filed against innocent people.
Criticising the “dynastic politics” prevalent in the state, he said, “You can see in the Badal government. Parkash Singh Badal is CM, his son Sukhbir Badal in Deputy CM, his daughter-in-law Harsimrat Badal is a (Union) minister. Harsimrat’s brother Bikram Majithia and Badal’s son-in-law are also ministers. Same in the case of Amarinder, his wife Preneet Kaur and son Raninder had also fought elections.” Impressing upon the gathering to bring AAP to power in 2017, he said, “Last year in Delhi we won 67 seats out of 70.
People in Punjab tell me that we can win 100 seats out of 117 in Punjab now, but we will have to work hard. I want you to make AAP win all 117 seats and break Delhi’s record.” He said that he would again come to Punjab after April and stay here for 15-20 days. “We will together make our dream of new Punjab true,” he said.
Today’s conference addressed by Kejriwal is being seen as the start of AAP’s campaign for the 2017 polls in Punjab. AAP had performed well in Punjab in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections by winning four out of 13 seats. Asking people to stand against Badals, Kejriwal said, “If the Badal government registers cases against you. Do not be afraid. Next year, when AAP government comes, it will cancel all those cases. Badals have now only one year left.” “If I attain martyrdom for Punjab, then there will not be any problem,” he added.
On compensation to families of security personnel who died in the Pathankot terror attack, he said, “If AAP government comes to power, we will give compensation of Rs 1 crore each to the families of the two martyrs who laid down their lives while fighting terrorists in Pathankot.” Yesterday, Kejriwal met the families of Havildar Kulwant Singh and Honorary Captain Fateh Singh at Gurdaspur.
Lashing out at Badal, Kejriwal said the Punjab government failed in setting up a cancer hospital in Muktsar. “I know there is a cancer train here which runs from Bathinda to Bikaner. It is quite unfortunate that Badal government has not set up a single cancer hospital here in last 10 years. When our government comes, we will first set up a cancer hospital.” He said the 2017 elections will be AAP against Congress, BJP and Akalis together. “On one side will be AAP and the other side will be Congress, BJP and Akalis together.” Reiterating his stand against corruption, he said, “Even if it is my son who is involved in corruption, I will not support him.”