Sukhbir Badal address the SAD conference at Hola Mohalla in Anandpur Sahib
Akali and BJP leaders targeted the Congress government, particularly Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, during the SAD’s conference at Hola Mohalla here today.The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party had earlier decided not to organise political conferences on the occasion.
Various speakers, including former Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, Union Minister and state BJP chief Vijay Sampla, Akali MP Prem Singh Chandumajra and former Cabinet ministers Madan Mohan Mittal and Daljit Singh Cheema, started their speeches by highlighting the importance of Hola Mohalla and Sikhism. However, they soon shifted to criticism of the ruling Congress over its “failures”.
Sukhbir said the SAD was proud that then CM Parkash Singh Badal had spent Rs 2,000 crore on setting up memorials and preserving Punjab’s heritage, but Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal had termed such expenditure wasteful and Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had called Virasat-e-Khalsa a white elephant.
Sukhbir said this could only be expected from a government headed by Capt Amarinder, who had not visited the Golden Temple till four months after taking over as CM.He claimed that the SAD-BJP alliance had ensured free power to farmers during the past 10 years, but the Congress was set to impose bills on such consumers.The SAD president said the party had decided to “shake the government out of slumber” by gheraoing the Vidhan Sabha on the first day of the upcoming Budget session.
Sampla said all development works had come to a standstill, adding that the Congress had deprived people of the benefits given by the SAD-BJP government.
Chandumajra said the Cabinet had recently decided that it would not allow “goonda tax” and illegal mining to continue in the state, which proved that these illegal activities were prevalent during the past year.
Others who spoke on the occasion included SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal, former MLAs Bibi Jagir Kaur and Sohan Singh Thandal and DSGMC office-bearers Manjit Singh GK and Manjinder Singh Sirsa.The police made arrangements to keep the roads of Anandpur Sahib free of traffic jams by not allowing heavy vehicles such as trucks and tractor-trailers inside the town. BJP leader and former minister Madan Mohan Mittal lauded the step, but SAD’s Daljit Singh Cheema said it had caused harassment to the devotees.