Sangrur: In a direct attack at Aam Aadmi Party’s Chief Ministerial candidate, Bhagwant Mann, Punjab Congress leader and state minister Vijay Inder Singla, said that Mann has exposed himself in Sangrur by not carrying out any development works.
Singla is contesting from Sangrur assembly seat in the state for the second time. He had won the assembly seat in 2017 assembly elections. He had lost the subsequent elections. This time, however, he is facing a stiff competition from AAP and SAD candidates.
Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch, Prakash Singh Badal is the other contender. According to Singla, Badal senior contesting elections at the age of 94 years is to contain the party, which has lost its relevance on ground.
Speaking to The New Indian during his election campaigning in Sangrur assembly seat, Singla said, “I don’t think that any of the parties compare to the Congress. The party has done great work in terms of development and even gave subsidies to the people, they were looking after.”
According to the former Sangrur MP said, “Among a few things going in favour of Congress is the waiver of the additional charges in the electricity bills. Our government waived off all pending dues that had accrued over the years, keeping into account people’s inability to pay those bills. We reduced the electricity tariff by Rs 3 from Rs 4.17 that was being charged earlier. Currently, the tariff is as low as Rs 1.70 per unit,” the Congress leader said.
Singla, who is also the PWD Minister in the state government, said that the state government has reduced water bills to Rs 50 and petrol and diesel prices in the state by Rs 10 and Rs 5 respectively.
Highlighting the developmental works being carried out by the party in the state, he said, “The government also provided relief to the traders as over 40,000 cases were lying pending for years. Our government has scrapped those cases so that they don’t have to go to departments again. The high dues have been reduced and settled to 30 per cent in approximately 8,000 cases”.
Additional to relief to the urban trading community, the government has also provided relief to people coming from middle class and poor sections, he said.
Targeting AAP CM candidate, the Congress leader said, “He (Mann) has not visited any villages in last eight years and not done any development works in entire Lok Sabha constituency. He is already exposed, so I strongly feel when a comparison will be made between AAP CM candidate and Congress CM candidate, people will be able to easily decide.”
Hitting out at the AAP leader, he said, “People of Sangrur know Mann well. They are well versed with his attitude, his functioning and how he works. It was his volunteers who sought votes for him,” he alleged.
To a question on what he feels about Siromani Akali Dal (SAD) patriarch Prakash Singh Badal contesting at an age of 94 years, he said, “Prakash Singh Badal is trying to hold his party together. The party would have disintegrated had he not been the supreme commander.”
“The party does not hold much relevance on the ground today,” he added.
To another question about Enforcement Directorate (ED) arresting Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew Bhupinder Singh ‘Honey’ ahead of assembly polls in the state, he said, “The case is with agencies and Let the outcome of the probe be known.”
Slamming the BJP, he said, “We have seen how BJP uses central agencies. Just like it did in West Bengal and other states.”
Polling for 117 member assembly is scheduled on February 20 and counting of votes will take place on March 10.
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