Dubbing the planned protests of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) as theatrics by the Badals in their frustrated bid to revive the party’s devastated fortunes in Punjab, state Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday said these desperate tactics would not work as the Akalis had completely lost face in the wake of their fiasco over the farm laws.
Having lost its moral right to face the people of the state due to their double-speak on many vital issues, including the ongoing farmers’ agitation, the SAD was now trying hard to get back into their good books ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in the state, said Amarinder Singh.
In a statement a day before SAD’s protests, purportedly against what they have termed as the state government’s failure on several key counts, the Chief Minister termed the Akali claims of ‘rising power tariffs, higher taxes on fuel and law-and-order situation’ as ridiculous, considering that it was their party that had plunged Punjab into such a mess during their 10-year-rule, in collusion with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
From the state’s law and order, to its fiscal situation, the past four years of the Congress rule had witnessed a massive improvement across key parameters, in sharp contrast to the chaos and destruction that had prevailed under the Akalis, said the Chief Minister.
Far from the law and order collapse under the Badal rule, when gangsters and goons were freely roaming the streets of the state, Punjabis are now finally heaving a sigh of relief, he pointed out.
Despite the Covid crisis that his government was even now grappling with, things were looking up on the financial front, with zero pendency achieved by the state treasury for the first time in 15 years, he added.
Pointing to the record implementation of over 85 per cent manifesto promises by his government, the Chief Minister said the progress made by the state over the past four years nailed the lie of Akali allegations.
The people could see the change on the ground, where drugs and other mafias had given way to transparent governance, with all-round progress across all the social, health, education and other important development matrices, he added.
Taking a dig at SAD’s accusation of his government withdrawing post-matric Scheduled Caste scholarship, the Chief Minister said either the Akalis were deliberately falsifying facts to mislead the people or did not want to expose their own role in the affair.
“Have they forgotten that they were part of the Central government when the latter pulled out of the scholarship scheme?a he quipped, adding that his government had, in fact, restored the scheme, among other measures taken for the SC/ST sections of society.
Amarinder Singh said the false propaganda that SAD was trying to spread through these political antics would not work with the people of Punjab, who had neither forgotten nor forgiven the Akalis-BJP rulers, for the sufferings to which they were subjected for 10 years.
People here have seen through the double standards of these parties and are now going to be taken in with their dramatics, he added.