PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar listened every worker patiently and agreed that their grievances could not be sorted out yet. (File)
Congress workers and district-level leaders from Jalandhar expressed strong resentment against the working style of their own party during two meetings with the PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar in Jalandhar on Monday. The meetings were called to take feedback from party workers about the governance of Congress party in the state. One meeting was held with the rural district committee and the other with the urban district unit.
Issues highlighted by party workers included Bargari sacrilege, blue cards, drugs, internal security and transport mafia.
Workers express resentment
In both the meetings, the workers were restless and everyone wanted a mic to express their grievances. Even some of them reportedly snatched the mic to speak.
In the rural unit’s meeting, it was said that the Congress has already completed half its terms, but there was no visible difference on the ground. They pointed out that this way Congress could lose the next election in the state.
Many added that the government has failed to issue the smart blue cards, which are issued to avail ration at a nominal price, and the old blue cards, which are still carrying the photo of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, are still in practice.
“We could not even remove the photo of Badal (former CM) from these cards, then what else can we expect from our government,” said a party worker during the meeting.
Another party worker raised the issue of transport mafia in the state and said that our party had failed to address this issue till date.
They said that government has yet to take the ‘Bargari and Chitta (drugs) issues’ to their logical ends and due to delay they were facing wrath of the people specially in the rural areas. Party leaders said that people hardly listen to them if they go with a complaint to the police station.
One Kuldip Sing from Shahkot area said that illegal mining was still on in the area.
In the second meeting that started in afternoon, most of the councillors said that they had no funds for the development of their respective wards.
“We don’t even have funds to install the street lights in our ward,” said Councillor Vijay Dakoha. Solid waste management, poor development issues were also raised by the councillors.
A woman worker also raised the issue of prevalent illegal human trafficking taking place right under the nose of the Punjab government.
Party’s senior leaders from Jalandhar, including all the MLAs and Halka Incharge (constituency incharge), were present in both the meetings.
Keep morale high: Jakhar
Jakhar listened every worker patiently and agreed that their grievances could not be sorted out yet. Telling party workers ‘der hai, andher nahin’, he asked them to keep their morale high.
He also took dig at the working of his own government and said he was aware that people are disappointed today. “Those who have not contributed towards bringing Congress back to power, they are exercising the authority,” said Jakhar, adding, “To bring development is the responsibility of the governments and people believe in Captain (Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh) and I am sure that CM Sahib is working in this direction.”
The state unit chief said that for him the party worker is supreme and a “leader should come to workers, rather than workers going to the leader”.
On the issue of human trafficking, he said that he agreed with the workers that unscrupulous travel agents are still working in the state. “A recent deportation case is a blot on the face of Punjab,” he added.
But Jakhar credited the government for smashing the supply chain of drugs, adding that the party had set things on the right track.
Taking a dig at SAD and Centre over the state’s pending GST dues, he said that at least on his 92nd birthday, former CM Parkash Singh Badal should have asked PM Narendra Modi to release the state’s money.
About a recently held investor summit in the state, he said: “In the process of bringing new industry we need to protect our the existing industry too.”