The Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP) Sunday alleged that the Congress government in Punjab had failed on all fronts and the promises made by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was "nothing but a bundle of lies". The PEP was floated in January by former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who will contest the Lok Sabha polls from Bathinda.
The party also came out with a "charge sheet" alleging that the state government had failed on several fronts, including eradicating drug menace and providing one job per family. Polls to the 13 parliamentary seats in Punjab will be held on May 19.
The "lofty claims" of fulfilling poll promises made by Singh "is nothing but a bundle of lies and a cock and bull story", Khaira, who represents the Bholath assembly constituency, said. "Needless to mention, the promise to write off complete debts of farmers by Amarinder Singh was the most striking point in the election manifesto of the Congress.
"The ground reality is that as of now the government has waived only Rs 4,245 crore as against the colossal debt of Rs 1 lakh crore," the PEP alleged in its "charge sheet". This "great betrayal" by Singh has dashed to the ground hopes of farmers and farm labourers, "leading to an escalation of suicides in Punjab", it said.
The PEP said, "as on date as many as 750 farmers and 'khet-mazdoors' (farm labourers) have committed suicides, the onus of which lies directly on the chief minister and his party." The Congress government has also failed to eradicate the drug menace in the state. It had promised during the 2017 Punjab polls to wipe out the problem within four months, it alleged.
The PEP also accused the state government of failing to implement their "star promise" of providing one job per family. "In order to hoodwink the youth, the Punjab government is organising job fairs to mischievously showcase its poll promise. Needless to mention, these job fairs are merely campus placements of youth by private companies and the government has nothing to do with these private sector jobs," it said.
"The stark reality is that more than 22 lakh youth continue to be jobless in Punjab..," the party claimed. The PEP charged Singh-led government of "hoodwinking, cheating and misleading the youth of Punjab in the name of job fairs, in order to hide their failure to provide employment."
The Khaira-led party also accused the state government of failing to curb corruption despite its "zero tolerance" claims to tackle the scourge. "The government has also miserably failed to curb mining and other forms of the mafia in the state," the "chargesheet," said.
The party alleged that other key promises such as 50 lakh smartphones for the youth, the increase of old-age pensions to Rs 2,500 per month, increase of assistance under the 'Shagun scheme' to Rs 51,000, and free houses to the poor among have all gone unhonoured in the past two years.
(With inputs from agencies.)