MINISTERS, MLAs MADE ACCOUNTABLE FOR CONGRESS CANDIDATE’S VICTORY IN THEIR RESPECTIVE CONSTITUENCIES, SAYS CAPT AMARINDER

NON-PERFORMERS TO BE DROPPED

Chandigarh, April 24-The Congress has decided to push the bar of performance for its leaders by fixing the responsibility for the victory of the candidates in Punjab on the ministers and MLAs of the ruling party, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced on Wednesday.

The decision has been taken by the Congress high command, under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, to accelerate the momentum for achieving the party’s Mission13 in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, Captain Amarinder disclosed.

As per the high command’s decision, incumbent ministers in Punjab who do not succeed in ensuring a victory for the Congress, specially from the constituencies they represent,
will be dropped from the cabinet. In the case of Congress MLAs, it has been decided that those who fail to perform in their constituencies will not be considered for tickets in the next Assembly elections.

The party has also made the criteria for allotment of chairmanships of various Board etc more stringent. Toughening its stance, the Congress has decided that such chairmanships will be allotted on the basis of the performance of individuals in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. Performance and not seniority will be the criteria determining their eligibility for boards and corporations, said Captain Amarinder.

The objective behind these decisions, said the Chief Minister, was to promote a performance-based culture in the party. Rahul was in favour of rewarding those party leaders and workers who make a difference on the ground, he said, adding that the Congress president wanted to bridge the gap between the people and the party through its elected representatives.

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ANYONE WHO TRIES TO USE AKAL TAKHT FOR PERSONAL GAINS IS NOT A SIKH, SAYS CAPT AMARINDER

LASHES OUT AT BADALS FOR LOWERING TAKHT PRESTIGE & UNDERMINING SIKHI TO PROMOTE POLITICAL INTERESTS

Sangrur, April 24-Terming the brazen use of the Akal Takht for political gains as the act of a non-Sikh, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday lashed out at the Badals for playing with the religious sentiments of Sikhs by abusing the community’s highest temporal seat to promote their vested interests.

Suh politicisation of religion would backfire on the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), said the Chief Minister, declaring that “anyone who tries to use the Akal Takht is not a Sikh in my eyes.”

Addressing a public rally before Congress candidate from Sangrur, Kewal Singh Dhillon, filed his nomination papers, Captain Amarinder minced no words in condemning the outrageous attempts of the Badals to undermine the supreme power of the Takht. The Akalis claim to be the custodians of Sikh religion but have always used it to promote their political interests, he added.

Pointing out that even Maharaja Ranjit Singh had bowed before the Akal Takht and served his punishment before it, the Chief Minister said the Badals, on the other hand, had lowered the prestige of the Takht by unabashedly summoning and dictating terms to the Jathedar to promote their political interests. By undermining the esteem of the Takht, the Akalis, led by the Badals, had brought ignominy to the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, he said, lamenting “Where is Sikhi going?” It was time, he said, to save the fabric of the Sikh religion from being torn by such self-seeking people like the Badals, he added.

While the Congress, as a party, studiously stays away from religious affairs by following the path of non-interference, he would extend support to anyone who frees SGPC from the Akal shackles, Captain Amarinder asserted. Violation of the religious institutions was not at all acceptable, he said, recalling that he had resigned from both, the Congress and the government, when “my Darbar Sahib was attacked in 1984.”

The Chief Minister also expressed outrage at the incidents of desecration, and the police firing at Bargari, that rocked the state under the Badal regime. Those who perpetrated such shameful acts will not be spared, irrespective of who is responsible, he vowed.

Captain Amarinder further came down heavily on Sukhbir for reportedly threatening government officers. “How dare he do that? Does he think he is still in power,” he asked, declaring that the people of Punjab will teach the SAD and the BJP a well-deserved lesson.

“The writing is on the wall for these parties,” he said, pointing out that the BJP’s Amritsar candidate had never visited the constituency. It was their choice whom to field but it was obvious they had no support in the state and were unable to find anyone to contest from within, the Chief Minister quipped.

Flaying the Narendra Modi led government at the Centre for its anti-people decisions, including demonetisation which had wreaked havoc on the lives of the common people, Captain Amarinder dismissed the prime minister’s promises as `hollow’. They failed to get rid of black money, they failed to give the promised Rs 14 lakh to every poor, and they failed to double the income of the farmers, he pointed out, adding that the Modi government did nothing for the unemployed youth and brought in a flawed GST which devastated the small traders.

Their new promise of being the `chowkidar’ to safeguard the interests of the nation and its people was another `jumla’, which they (BJP) had come up with in a desperate bid to retain power, he added.

“You (Kewal), and other Congress candidates, have a `jung’ (battle) to fight on two fronts – to help the nation get rid of the anti-people government in order to safeguard the secular and democratic character of the country, and rid Punjab of the Badals” the Chief Minister asserted.

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CAPT AMARINDER ASKS FCI TO PICK UP GRAIN WITH LESS THAN 12% MOISTURE WITHOUT DELAY FROM MANDIS

Faridkot, April 24-Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has asked the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to pick up all crops with less than 12% moisture arriving at the Mandis without further delay.

The Chief Minister, who stopped on way from Sangrur to Fardikot to make a surprise visit at a Mandi, personally checked the moisture content of the grains and directed FCI to ensure that all arrivals with moisture below 12% should be picked up immediately.

Captain Amarinder asked the DC to supervise the procurement operations on a day to day basis send him detailed reports so that any problem or delay in the process can be tackled on priority.

Responding to complaints by some farmers that FCI was not procuring their grain, the Chief Minister immediately called up the FCI Inspector in charge of the procurement at the Mandi and directed him to get the grain picked up without further delay.

The Chief Minister had, earlier this week, written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking relaxation in the specifications for wheat for procurement in the current season, in view of the crop losses suffered by farmers due to unseasonal rains.

The Chief Minister has also asked the prime minister to direct the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution to depute a team of experts to visit Punjab to assess the loss in quality of wheat due to the rains so that suitable revised specifications can be laid down.

He urged the prime minister to order appropriate relaxation in specifications without any value cut, which would compound the problems of the farmers who had already suffered significant crop losses due to the rains and winds that lashed the state from 16th April to 18th April, 2019.

Captain Amarinder Singh pointed out that such rains at the time of maturation of wheat crop had caused damage to the standing crop and also affected the quality of the wheat grains because of water logging, leading to loss of luster/blackened grains.