Sunday, June 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Akalis sided with ultras out of fear: CM
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 22
Accusing the Akalis of siding with militants in the decade-long militancy in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh termed the previous SAD-BJP government anti-development and corrupt.

The Chief Minister defended some harsh proposals in the Budget saying that there were no funds to run the affairs of the government and it would have even been difficult to pay the employees, in the absence of such measures. Capt Amarinder Singh was speaking at the Golden Jubilee function of Nawan Zamana newspaper at Red Cross Bhavan here today.

Criticising the Akali leadership, the Chief Minister alleged that Akalis never raised any voice against the killings of hundreds of innocent people in the state. Instead they chose to attend bhog ceremonies of militants during days of terrorism, which was highly deplorable.

“In fact, the Akali leaders have always espoused the cause of militants and failed to condemn the militant attacks on innocent people out of fear. The voice against terrorism was raised only by the mediapersons and our brave police officers, who had laid down their lives to eliminate terrorism from the state”, Captain Amarinder Singh said.

Dubbing the previous SAD-BJP regime in the state as corrupt the Chief Minister said that the Akali government had failed miserably to attract investment in agricultural and industrial sectors resulting in an increase in unemployment and decline in revenue receipts. The wrong policies of the previous government had shaken the economy of the state in such a way that now it was difficult to pay salary to the employees. We are forced to take some stern steps to streamline the fiscal position of the state. The people should co-operate with us in this regard,” he added.

Elaborating about the prevailing economic situation of the state, the Chief Minister revealed that the government had to pool Rs 80 crore from various sources to arrange payments for the purchase of coal for Thermal Plant at Bathinda, which had been left with only three days’ stock of coal. “We have also decided to introduce reforms in power sector as suggested by All India Congress Committee president Mrs Sonia Gandhi at the last meeting of the Congress Chief Ministers at Guwahati.” He said that the Congress government would make huge investment in industrial sector within next three months to create new jobs for unemployed youth of the state.

He added that the government would unearth all irregularities committed by the previous government and all unaccounted money running into hundreds of crores collected through unfair means by the corrupt political leaders would be unearthed. The state government had launched a special drive to check absenteeism government employees.

Dr Manmohan Singh, a former Union Finance Minister, in his address said that there was need to create an atmosphere in the state conducive to attract foreign direct investment. He praised the Nawan Zamana newspaper for waging a war against terrorism through its columns.

Governor of Uttaranchal Surjit Singh Barnala, Editor of Nawan Zamana Jagjit Singh Anand, Secretary of state CPI Joginder Dyal also spoke on the occasion.

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