Chandigarh, Feb 20 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Wednesday hit out at the SAD-BJP government over desecration of religious texts in 2015, asking why it could not have taken action in the issue the way the Congress government did after coming to power.
Singh assured the state Assembly that his government would not spare anyone found guilty of the “horrendous” crime.
Winding up the discussion on the Governor’s address in the ongoing Budget Session here, he alleged the incidents of desecration occurred because of the “failure of the law and order system”.
He claimed the previous government had even failed to accept their own commission’s report over the issue. “Why could not you do what we have done… You could have formed a Special Investigation Team. You could have taken action,” he said.
The chief minister said his government would take the findings of the Ranjit Singh Commission report on desecration and police firing incidents to its logical conclusion.
He also accused the Badals of “complete destruction” all institutions of governance in the state during the previous SAD-BJP regime.
On the farm debt waiver scheme of his government, Singh promised to pay more to the community once the state’s revenues showed further improvement. He said the loans of landless labourers would also be waived.
On opposition’s demand for a complete loan waiver of all farmers, he said a sum of Rs 65,000 crore would be required if the debt of all 17 lakh farmers was to be waived and asked from where would this amount of money come.
Singh also lashed out at the Akalis over their “irresponsible and unruly behaviour” in the House and said it was unfortunate Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal’s speech on February 18 was disrupted for petty political gains.
Badal’s budget speech was marred by vociferous protest by SAD and BJP members against minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s remarks following the Pulwama attack. The speaker had to adjourn the House due to the disruption.
The chief minister also slammed the Akalis for “eroding” the dignity of a revered institution like the Vidhan Sabha.
Singh asked whether the party had any leader as SAD president Sukhbir Badal always seemed to be missing from the House. “Where is he? I have not seen him in the House,” he said.
Attacking the Badals over the law and order situation in the state during their decade-long rule, he alleged, “What was happening earlier was not governance but danda raaj, with orders, legal and illegal, being passed by one family,” he alleged.
Singh alleged that no rules, laws and Constitutional provisions were followed during their regime. It was the ‘halqa incharges’, working at the behest of the Badals and their cronies, who were calling the shots, he alleged.
The Congress leader vowed to continue its battle against drugs till the menace is completely eliminated from the state. He described the steps taken to combat the problem and challenged the opposition to come out with the names of “big fish”, with evidence, to help the anti-drug STF arrest them.
The chief minister urged the Akalis to join his government in efforts to ensure a befitting celebration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
He said his government had so far generated employment for over 5 lakh youths, which was an impressive 720 youth per day, besides generating 415 lakh man-days under MGNREGA during the last two years.
Earlier, participating in the discussion, Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia attacked the Congress for its alleged failure to honour polls promises. “The Congress made big promises about debt waiver, jobs etc in its manifesto. But it failed to implement them,” he alleged.
Congress MLA Fatehjang Bajwa urged the chief minister to arrest those political leaders who gave patronage to smugglers in the drug racket cases.
Leader of opposition and AAP MLA Harpal Singh Cheema targeted the government on the issue of regularisation of teachers and described the governor’s address as a “bundle of lies”.
Earlier, Lok Insaaf party MLAs Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Bains sat in the Well of the House, seeking recovery of money from other states for releasing water.PTI CHS VSD
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.