Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday attacked politicians who offered “lollipops” just before the polls, made a clear attack on his own party-led government in the state and urged the people to vote only on Punjab’s welfare agenda.
His remarks came on a day when Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi announced a reduction in electricity tariff by Rs 3 per unit for the domestic sector and increased costly allowances for government employees.
Addressing a gathering of the Hindu Mahasabha, Mr. Sidhu wondered if anyone would speak for the welfare of the state.
“They (politicians) offer lollipops … it’s free, it’s free, which has happened in the last two months (before the Punjab Assembly elections are scheduled to be held early next year),” he said.
He has asked these politicians who have gone from cricketers to politicians to question how they will fulfill such promises.
Emphasizing on a roadmap for the revival and welfare of the state, he asked the people to vote for the development agenda, not for “lollipops”.
“You should have a question in mind that the purpose is only to form a government or come to power after lying, making 500 promises or welfare of the state,” Mr Sidhu said.
“Politics has become a profession now, it is no longer a mission,” he said.
“My aim is to restore public confidence, which has faded from being a politician,” the Congress leader said, adding that parents do not want their children to be politicians these days.
He said he would die but would never sell the interests of Punjab.
Mr. Sidhu said that Punjab has arrears of Rs 5 lakh crore and blamed the state governments for the last 25-30 years.
The municipal committee and the government rest house were mortgaged, he said, adding that the debt would have to be repaid to the people of the state.
“Wherever there is talk of compromise, Sidhu throws the post so that your confidence is not shattered. For me it is a ‘crusade’ (war of principles) and I cannot be defeated in this ‘crusade’. I know it,” he said.
The Congress leader also took those who say the state coffers are full.
“If that’s the case, give ETT (Primary Teacher Training) teachers Rs 50,000 as salary and contract teachers (money),” he said.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)