Gurdaspur/Hoshiarpur, February 14
AICC former president Rahul Gandhi today said Punjab was a sensitive state and not a chemistry lab where “experiments” could be conducted as he urged people to vote for a “stable” Congress government that would ensure peace and prosperity.
Knows people’s pulse
The CM is from a poor family and understands the problems of the people at the grassroots. Rahul Gandhi, AICC Ex-president
Addressing election rallies for party candidates in Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur, Rahul said: “Punjab is a sensitive state due to its proximity to the Pakistan border. There is no room for experimentation here. The state needs a stable government, which only the Congress can provide. Only Congress men have the necessary experience to run the state affairs.”
He said he had forewarned the nation that Covid was about to strike. “However, nobody took me seriously. Instead, the NDA government started poking fun at me. Likewise, in 2013, I had mentioned that Punjab was in the throes of drugs. People should know that whenever I say something I do not base it on falsehoods and assumptions,” he said.
Targeting the BJP government on jobs and drugs, he said: “Why are they silent on public issues like unemployment, corruption and drugs? Why are they not raising issues of black money and providing employment to crores of the jobless youth?”
Rahul said the elections were to decide the future of the state for the next five years. Praising CM Charanjit Singh Channi for taking “people-friendly” decisions during his 111-day tenure, he said: “CM from a poor family understands the problems of the people at the grassroots. Channi has initiated a slew of projects for the common man.”
Speaking on agriculture, Rahul said: “The Centre failed to convince farmers about the benefits of farm laws. Around 700 farmers lost their lives by the time the laws were withdrawn.” Rebutting Aam Aadmi Party’s claims, Rahul said the “mohalla” clinics in Delhi were started during the tenure of Congress CM Sheila Dikshit. “Mohalla clinics are, in fact, being poorly managed these days,” he said.
Earlier, he presided over a religious congregation in Gurdaspur’s Dhariwal, organised by Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa. Dhariwal falls in the Qadian seat from where Bajwa is contesting. Speaking at the Hoshiarpur rally, PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu said if the Congress was voted to power, women would be given Rs 1,100, eight gas cylinders free of cost and Rs 5,000 for class V students. No fee would be charged on registries in the name of women.
Congress’ poll campaign committee chairman Sunil Jakhar called PM Narendra Modi “arrogant”. He said by not allowing CM Channi to fly to Hoshiarpur, the Centre had violated democracy. He also introduced the state’s youngest woman sarpanch, Pallavi Thakur, to the audience. He recalled how PM Modi called up Thakur when she was elected sarpanch. “Intelligence agencies had forewarned Pallavi not to ask any inconvenient question. What sort of democracy is this?” he said.
Day on, Navjot Sidhu all praise for Charanjit Channi
Day after declining to speak at Priyanka Gandhi’s rally in Dhuri, PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday addressed Rahul Gandhi’s Hoshiarpur rally, where he termed as “historic” his decision to hand over the reins of Punjab to CM Channi. “After taking power out of the hands of the royal family, he gave it to a common man,” said Sidhu.
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