New Delhi/ Chandigarh: After remaining in political wilderness in the state, Congress is doing everything to get back to power in Punjab by winning the assembly elections set to be held in February in the state. The manifesto released by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi showed the desperation in Congress to finally get back to power in the northern state.
Congress has used every trick to lure farmers and youth in the state claiming that the Akali Dal – BJP government in the state had mismanaged the state during the last ten years and that the Congress will take the state back on to the path of development and prosperity.
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who released the manifesto in the Indian capital accused the Akali-BJP government with “misusing” governance in the last ten years and said Capt Amarinder Singh’s leadership is “badly needed” in the state to exploit the state’s tremendous potential.
Manmohan Singh, who occupied the Prime Minister’s post for ten years in a row said, “The challenge before Punjab is to rise above all this din and recognise that the people of Punjab need a better tomorrow. This election manifesto is a forward looking visionary document, which promises the people that we will undo the damage done to the Punjab economy by the State government in the last ten years”.
Manmohan heaped praise on Congress’ chief minister candidate Amarinder Singh. While praising Captain Amrinder Singh the former PM said, he is a leader of great vision who has a wealth of experience and commitment to the cause of development in Punjab. He said Punjab’s fiscal situation has been bad under the Akalis as the state has inflicted great damage on the economy and polity of Punjab being a victim of terrorism. “Amarinder’s government will undo all this damage and set a new pathway for a better tomorrow which will see that people will have. A higher per-capita Income, better distribution of Income, better employment prospects and better infrastructure,” he added.
The Congress party earlier today promised to end mafia, operating allegedly at the behest of Badals, and ensure better revenue generation for the development of Punjab. Punjab Congress Vice President and former state Finance Minister Manpreet Badal told media, after releasing the manifesto, that ending the mafia alone would boost revenue generation manifold.
Manpreet Badal who is a close relative of Prakash Singh Badal and has gone to the Congress camp said, “This will help generate funds required to implement the various welfare schemes announced in the party manifesto. Funds to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore would be needed for the execution of the promises, which could be achieved by increasing revenue generation and reducing government expenditure”.
He went on to add, “Eliminating the various types of mafia, operating at the behest of Badals, would itself lead to massive increase in the revenue generation, thereby putting the state finances on the right track and bringing it out of its current fiscal mess”. The Congress has also promised that, if elected in the forthcoming Punjab Assembly elections, it would eliminate the drugs menace in the state within four weeks. The Congress said it will end the supply and consumption of drugs completely in the state in a month.
Congress party is facing a triangular fight in the state against the ruling BJP-SAD alliance and the Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The party manifesto, which has been prepared in consultation with former Prime Minister and international economist Manmohan Singh, also promises waiver of agricultural debts, jobs for every household, resolution of the Satluj-Yamuna link Canal issue, cess on liquor and free eduction for girls. The Congress is gearing up for a do-or-die political battle with the Akali Dal-BJP alliance government, which has been in power in the state since 2007, and to counter the challenge being posed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Reports suggest that the Congress has peaked at the right time despite simmering difference within its ranks in the state.