SAD pushes for discussion on power hike, ‘scams’

SAD pushes for discussion on power hike, ‘scams’

SAD leaders Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and Bikram Singh Majithia speak to the media on Wednesday. Express

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Legislative Party on Wednesday demanded a fifteen-day Budget Session to discuss issues like power hike and alleged power scams besides the “need to provide justice to the victims of the Behbal Kalan police firing case”.

SAD submitted a memorandum in this regard to Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana K P Singh. Addressing the media after submitting the memorandum, SAD Legislative Party leader Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said the party had appealed to the Speaker to extend the forthcoming Budget Session to fifteen days, saying “presently only one day had been kept to discuss the Governor’s Address, what to speak of taking up public issues”.

SAD leaders, as per a written statement issued by the party, said the people of Punjab were “reeling under the all time high power hikes which had taken power rates to Rs 9 to Rs 10 per unit from only Rs 5.50 per unit during SAD-BJP tenure”.

They said the Congress government should fulfill its promise to supply power to the people as well as industry at Rs 5 per unit. SAD leaders demanded “an independent inquiry into the Rs 4300 crore scam” and said “why the Punjab Pollution Control Board had worked over time to save private thermal plants from action for not installing anti-pollution devices”.

They also demanded “threadbare discussion into the pressure being put on witnesses of the Behbal Kalan police firing case to rescind from their statements”.

Dhillon and Majithia said that Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had uttered a white lie by claiming that eleven lakh youth had been given jobs.

“Punjabis are asking for the name of these fictitious job receivers. Not only this, they want to know why unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 per month is still not being given. Similarly, one lakh students had suffered and not taken admission in colleges after the government failed to provide SC scholarship to them. The Dalit community was also waiting anxiously for the government to announce that it would ensure status quo on job reservation and promotions in government service but is dismayed that the government has kept quiet on this subject,” said the statement by the Akali leaders.

The Akali leaders demanded a discussion on alleged “loot of the state exchequer by Congress leaders be it through illegal mining or liquor smuggling as well as police-gangster-minister nexus which had resulted in jails becoming a centre for extortion and contract killings with five NRIs being targeted recently”. They claimed that the law and order situation was such that police were clueless after dacoits decamped with 30 kg of gold in Ludhiana.

Akali leaders accused the Congress government on going back on its complete loan waiver promise. They alleged that farm suicide victims were not being given the promised Rs 10 lakh compensation as well as promised jobs, adding that sugarcane farmers were “suffering because they were not paid Rs 350 crore dues from government mills alone and that this along with low State Assured Price (SAP) for sugarcane had sounded the death knell of diversification in agriculture in the state”.