Governor’s Budget speech lackluster, bereft of substance: Harpal Cheema

Captain government has failed to fulfill poll promises enshrined in party manifesto: AAP


Chandigarh, February  12

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has termed the Budget speech of the Punjab Governor V.P.Singh Badnore as lackluster and bereft of substance and quizzed the Captain Amarinder Singh Government as to where had the party manifesto that had promised moons for the teeming millions of farmers, daily wage earners, ‘dalits’, the aged and other categories of people in the state before assuming power two years ago had been missing.

In a statement, leader of opposition (LoP) in Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Harpal Singh Cheema accused the government of misleading the governor on the public-centric issues and concerns. Cheema said the biggest lie in the speech was on loan waiver to farmers, which, he said, was nothing but a pack of lies. Cheema said the government had played a cruel joke on the farming community by backtracking on the said promise. Cheema expressed his shock over the way miffed farmers were being forced to commit suicides, stating that more than 900 farmers and farm labourers had committed suicide during the past two years.

He further said that while the government in the saddle was accusing the preceding SAD-BJP government of the financial mess in the state, it was following the footsteps of the Badals. He said the situation on the ground was different as employees were not getting their salaries and pensioner their pensions.

Speaking on the law and order situation in the state, Cheema said that the law and order machinery in the state had gone for a toss, with the deaf dispensation sleeping over the matter. He expressed his deep anguish over the two major incidents of gang rape, which spoke volumes of the collapse of the law and order machinery.

Cheema accused the Captain government of being non-serious about the water share, transfer of Punjabi-speaking areas, and Punjab’s claim on Chandigarh, stating that had the government been a tad serious about, the long-pending issue could have been resolved. Cheema said that as per the governor’s speech, only 40 per cent of the villages had yet to be provided clean potable water, but, he said, the claim was a mere figment of imagination as the 40 per cent of the villages were being supplied water which was unfit for human consumption, Cheema said.

The LoP further said that the public services in the state had gone for toss which could be gauzed by a random visit to the courts, police stations, patwarkhanas, government hospitals, schools, et al. He added corruption was at the peak in the state. He said that the speech was a misnomer on the issue of fighting drugs in the state, saying that nothing had changed for the better and that the youth was still dying of drug overdose.

Cheema was critical of the Captain government, saying that it had not done much to nailing the mining mafia, transport mafia, liquor mafia, which were active in the state. On the power front, Cheema said people were paying hefty electricity bill up to forty thousand for marginal consumption, forcing them to take to roads in protest. Roads were in a bad shape, and so were the education and health services, which, he said, had virtually collapsed.

He further said that despite promising 15 new degree colleges in the state, not even a single college had been announced. He alleged that the no fresh recruitment of teachers was made during the past 15 years.  

Cheema batted for 100 per cent crop compensation for the farmers, saying that 10 per cent proposed by the government was far too inadequate. He said that the government had admitted that it could not live up to the youth’s dream of job generation and issue mobile phones to them. Cheema said that the government must act fast on the issues.

Cheema welcomed that proposal of planting 550 sapling in each and every village on the occasion of 550th parkash utsav of the first Sikh master of Guru Nanak Dev.

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