BHATINDA: Jagroop Singh Gill, who was once considered a close associate of Congress leader and Punjab’s finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal is now contesting against him in 2022 assembly election on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket.
Accusing the Congress of not fulfilling the promise of eradicating the drug menace and unemployment in the constituency, Gill said: “In Bhatinda urban assembly seat, AAP is closely working with local women, youth, people in the industry to prepare its manifesto for Punjab. I am honour bound to abide by the party’s manifesto and will ensure that all promises made to the people are fulfilled.”
Gill, who has won municipal Corporation elections six times in the past, is contesting against Badal despite the fact that he was once very close to him and has even worked with him in the past.
“During 2017 assembly elections, Badal was a member of the manifesto committee and he even an took oath in the name of our religion that he will completely eradicate the drug menace in four weeks after coming to power. Nothing has been done by him to that effect,” said the AAP leader.
Gill said that drugs was a big issue in 2017 as many youth and people were losing their lives. People were hopeful that after Congress comes to power it will work to eradicate the problem. “But even in 2022, the drug problem is not over. In Bhatinda only, eight people have died within a month,” he rued.
Slamming Badal for not fulfilling other promises he made to people of Bhatinda, the AAP leader said, “Badal had also promised that one family member will get employment from every house but he didn’t deliver. He also promised that the thermal plant which has been functioning since 1974 will not be closed and demolished.”
Citing Bhatinda power plant as that of heritage value for the city, Gill pointed out that despite the engineers’ proposal that the thermal power plant could be renovated at a cost of Rs 700 crore so it could function till 2031, Badal went ahead to shut it.
Hitting out at the Congress leader, Gill said that Badal also promised to bring auto and aircraft industry to the city but all that was done was to put on display an old aircraft and an old tank as a selfie points!
“People laughed at us saying instead of bringing industries, we are making selfish points. All the promises he made to people were never fulfilled,” he said, adding that on the other hand Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP is all about bringing change.
Citing Dehi as example, he said: “Even Punjab wants change so that after eradicating drug menace, the state should become a hub of the industry and l people stop migrating from villages and city to other countries,”
On who he considers as the main competitor in the assembly polls, the AAP leader said, “In my belief, elections are always about fight of principles and policies of political parties, and never individuals.”
This time the fight is between the political parties who ruled the state in last 15 years and made made hollow promises, promoted drugs and lawlessness, and change.
“AAP wants to give a new thinking to Punjab and it wants to improve education, health system and improve law and order situation,” he said.
The assembly elections for the 117 member house will take place on February 20 and counting of votes will take place on March 10.
The AAP has already announced its MP Bhagwant Mann as its chief ministerial candidate in the state while the ruling Congress is yet to announce the same.
The Congress is hoping for a second consecutive term in the state.
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