Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh said if elected he would put behind bars those guilty of drug smuggling and “patronising” drug mafias, bringing to the fore the rampant drug abuse in the state, as he slammed the Badal family for failing to control the menace. He attacked the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its top leaders, including Bikramjit Singh Majithia, for allegedly misleading the people with their “disinformation” campaign.
Capt Amarinder was talking to reporters after some Akali, Aam Aadmi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Kamalji Singh Karwal and Yamini Gomar, officially joined Congress here.
“From transport to drugs to sand, cable TV, liquor, there was nothing the Akalis had not seized control of to promote their interests,” the Congress chief alleged and vowed to eliminate “all these mafias” after coming to power in Punjab.
He accused Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD and AAP of Arvind Kejriwal of a malicious campaign against Congress, rubbishing allegations his government during his tenure as chief minister from 2002 to 2007 had banned recruitments and appointments.
He claimed the parties were doing it “deliberately”. The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief claimed his government had created job opportunities for 20 lakh youth and also recruited thousands of government employees.
He said recruitments were kept in abeyance for some time as the treasury had no money when he began his tenure in 2002.
“Had we not done so, Punjab would have plunged into an even deeper financial crisis than my government had inherited from the Akalis,” he said.
He, however, said after the ban was lifted his government appointed more than 49,000 government employees and 12,000 teachers. “Neither the Badals nor AAP’s HS Phoolka have an iota of knowledge (about governance) and are simply talking out of their hat.” Promising to review only the “political appointments” made by the Badals, Capt Amarinder said no government employees’ jobs would be reviewed and his party was committed to provide employment to every family in the state.