The political affairs committee (PAC) of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today decided to launch a ‘jabar virodhi lehar’ to raise its voice against the excesses being committed against Akali workers by Congressmen, even as it warned chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh not to barter away the interests of the State on the SYL canal issue under any circumstances.
The meeting of the PAC, which was presided over by party patron Parkash Singh Badal, passed a resolution that party president Sukhbir Singh Badal would launch the jabar virodh lehar from Dear Baba Nanak on July 25 and henceforth visit families affected by Congress excesses across the State.
Speaking on the issue, the SAD president said it was his bounden duty to stand with the Akali rank and file. "The SAD will start a mass movement to force the Congress government to stop its workers from targeting Akalis. We will form committees in all districts to help victims. We are also evolving a system to contest all false cases registered against our workers besides conducting an exercise to evaluate the extent of the false cases”.
Speaking on the issue of the SYL canal, Parkash Singh Badal said earlier also Punjab’s river waters had been taken away from the State during Congress rule. "We would like to make it clear to everyone that Punjab does not have any excess water and that there is no question of construction of the SYL canal. This will not be allowed under any circumstances”. The PAC accordingly passed a resolution warning chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh not to agree to any negotiation with Haryana which would take away even one drop of water from Punjab.
Senior Badal also announced on the occasion that he would personally meet Akali workers to listen to their grievances twice a month for two days each in the party office. The first such set of meetings will take place on August 1 and 2 and on August 16 and 17.
The PAC also took note of the two Commissions formed by the Congress government to probe sacrilege cases and false cases – the Justice (retd) Ranjit Singh and Mehtab Singh Commissions respectively. Rejecting both Commissions, the PAC in a resolution said no justice could be expected from the former judges who had always acted as Congress agents. It said Ranjit Singh was not only the brother-in-law of Congress legislator Harpartap Ajnala, but was also known to show bias against the SAD as a serving judge. In case of Mehtab Singh it noted that his closeness to Capt Amarinder Singh could be seen from the fact that he had handed over his house for stay to the Congress leader during the Moga byelection. The PAC said the Commissions had also been compromised with Capt Amarinder Singh openly stating that they would find the SAD and its leaders guilty. "This speaks volumes about their credibility. They should be wound up immediately”.
It was also decided that a delegation of MP's and senior leaders under the leadership of the SAD President would meet union finance minister Arun Jaitley and request him that all new taxes imposed under the new GST system including those on ‘langar’ purchases by the SGPC and other religious institutions as well as on agriculture inputs and machinery, be taken back. The PAC said while the SAD would fulfill its responsibility, the onus of getting all these taxes withdrawn was on the State government. "States have 66 per cent weightage in the GST Council which has the power to review the new taxes. It must exercise its power to get these taxes withdrawn immediately”, it added.
In another resolution, the PAC noted that like the farming community, young girls were also suffering in Punjab on account of a fee waiver announcement made by the Congress government which had not been implemented on the ground. It said despite a cabinet decision being taken to make girl education free from primary to Ph.d level, government colleges were still taking fee from girl students because no notification had been sent to them on this account. Asking the government to honour its announcement, it also asked it to start releasing the the Rs 2,500 per month unemployment allowance to youth as promised immediately.