Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday called upon people to join hands and wage a war against social maladies like unemployment, corruption, communalism and social discrimination to realise the dreams of our freedom fighters and make a ‘Rangla’ Punjab.
Addressing a gathering at the state-level function to mark Independence Day at Guru Nanak Stadium here, the Chief Minister said these maladies are hampering the progress of the state and prosperity of its people.
Unfurling the tricolour on the occasion, he said the time has come to weed out these maladies, adding this mission cannot be accomplished without the active support of the people.
The Chief Minister said it is a matter of great pride and honour for every Indian that the country has completed 75 years as an independent and democratic republic today.
Congratulating all the countrymen, especially Punjabis, in India and across the world on this historic occasion, Mann said India’s road to Independence was long and hard, but equally difficult is the path to maintain this freedom.
The Chief Minister also said as a colony of British Empire the country had suffered a lot and the brave and determined heroes of our freedom struggle made enormous sacrifices to remove the shackles of foreign imperialism.
He said it is on record that more than 80 per cent of the great patriots who laid down their lives or were subjected to British tyranny in one form or other were Punjabis.
Mann said that a string of gems like Baba Ram Singh, Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Rajguru, Shaheed Sukhdev, Lala Lajpat Rai, Shaheed Udham Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Diwan Singh Kalepani and many others, shed their blood to achieve an independent nation.
The Chief Minister said it is unfortunate if some people are posing questions over the contribution of great martyrs.
He reminded the people that these great national heroes and martyrs relentlessly fought to free the country from the shackles of the British regime. He said questioning the credentials of martyrs is an unpardonable crime.
The Chief Minister asserted that even today Punjabis are at forefront to safeguard the borders of the country.
He said Punjabis led the nation from the front whenever India faced any challenge from internal or external aggression. It is a known fact that the hard working and resilient farmers of the state have played a crucial role in making the country self-reliant in food production, Mann added.
Exhorting all Punjabis to play an active role to once again make Punjab prosperous and a frontrunner state of the country, the Chief Minister said that the sapling planted by people of state in form of bringing government of the Aam Aadmi Party in assembly elections held early this year, has started bearing fruits now.
He said from now onwards Punjab will daily script a new success story of development and progress.
Mann said new vistas of employment will be generated and the state will soon become a ‘Rangla Punjab’.
The Chief Minister asserted that with the active support and cooperation of our people the state government is working hard to realise the dream of freedom fighters.
The Chief Minister also said that from day one in office, the state government is making every effort to restore the glory of Punjab.
The Chief Minister said in order to provide quality and timely health services to the people, the state government is dedicating 75 Aam Aadmi clinics to mark 75th Independence Day.
He said these clinics will offer 41health packages with nearly 100 clinical tests free of cost to the people. Mann envisaged that these clinics as the cornerstone to revamp of the healthcare system in Punjab.
Likewise, the Chief Minister further said that the state government is committed to rejuvenate education system in state to reverse the trend of brain drain.
He said towards this end, the state government has adopted a multi-pronged approach that is aimed at transforming government schools into aSchools of Eminence’.
Likewise, Mann said 16 new medical colleges will come in the state during coming five years.
The Chief Minister also said that in a path breaking initiative his government provided 600 units of free power per billing cycle to every section of society.
He said as a result of this, 51 lakh households out of total 74 lakh will get zero electricity bill in September.
Likewise, Mann said 68 lakh household will get zero power bill in January, which will be roughly 90 per cent of the total households of the state.
The Chief Minister reiterated that the state government will not allow the textile park to come up at Mattewara, which are the lungs of Ludhiana.
He said that the government has already offered alternative land sites for the project to the government of India. Mann said that the state government is committed to save the environment of state.
Earlier, the Chief Minister accompanied by Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua and Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav, inspected the parade led by parade commander ASP Maninder Singh.
He also took a salute from an impressive march past by 11 contingents of Punjab Police, Punjab Home Guards, Punjab Armed Police, NCC Girls and Boys, Bharat Scouts and Guides, besides the Punjab Police Brass band and other school bands.