Cong govt has 'abandoned' people of Punjab; ministers busy fighting: Oppn

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Chandigarh, May 31 (PTI) The opposition in Punjab on Monday slammed the Congress-led government over the infighting in the ruling party, saying ministers and MLAs have 'abandoned' the state's people in the midst of the Covid pandemic and gone to Delhi 'to save their chairs'.

SAD, BJP and AAP said the government should have worked to provide proper health facilities to the people amid the pandemic.

The Congress has formed a three-member committee to resolve the infighting in the party's Punjab unit. The first batch of legislators and ministers met the panel led by Rajya Sabha member Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday in Delhi.

AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat and former MP J P Aggarwal are members of this committee.

Main opposition party AAP alleged the Congress government has 'abandoned' the people of Punjab while its leaders are sitting in the national capital to 'save their chairs'.

'It would have been better if the Congress government of Punjab had gone to Delhi and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to get the anti-farmer agricultural bills repealed.

'It would have been better if the Captain government had met the BJP government (at the Centre) to procure medicines, vaccines, ventilators to save the people of Punjab from the COVID-19 pandemic but the Congress leaders have gone to Delhi to save their chairs,' Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Bhagwant Mann said.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) alleged the ministers and legislators have been totally 'indifferent' to the suffering of the people battling Covid and are busy trying to outrun one another to reach Delhi to 'acquire the spoils of office'.

The Sukhbir Singh Badal-led party also expressed concern over the manner in which the Congress government has 'deserted' the people of Punjab in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

'The fact that the Congress high command has encouraged this exercise speaks volumes about the thinking of the Gandhi family towards Punjabis,' the party said in a statement.

It also condemned Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for presiding over the 'entire mess'.

'Amarinder Singh is behaving like a modern-day Nero who is self-centered, only interested in saving his kingdom and completely impervious to the suffering of the people. There can be no other justification for the manner in which the people of Punjab have been left to fend for themselves and without basic medicines, oxygen and vaccine doses,' the statement quoted Badal as saying.

All this has resulted in 14,000 deaths in Punjab and the state having the highest fatality rate in the country but Singh is least concerned, he alleged.

The Punjab BJP also hit out at the state government.

Instead of saving the people amid the COVID-19 pandemic and providing them with basic health facilities, the chief minister and Congress leaders are 'busy fighting' amongst themselves, Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma said.

'Due to this, the common people of Punjab are suffering the most,' he said.

The ruling party is not bothered about the plight of the people in the state, he charged.

As of Monday, Punjab has recorded 5,67,607 COVID-19 cases and 14,550 deaths due to the viral disease, according to a medical bulletin. PTI CHS VSD DIV DIV

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