SHAHKOT: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today lambasted the SAD leaders for allegedly ruining the state and accused them of pushing it to the last position among the states on economic front.
Addressing a rally in favour of Congress candidate for Shahkot by-poll, Hardev Singh Laddi, he also mocked SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal for demanding Laddi's arrest.
On May 4, Laddi and two others were booked by police for alleged illegal sand mining in different villages of Jalandhar district.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had on Monday alleged that the Mehatpur SHO, who registered the case against Laddi, was upset over his earlier transfer and is in touch with AAP's Sukhpal Singh Khaira and SAD's Daljit Cheema and the FIR against Laddi appeared to be a fallout of the same.
The chief minister dismissed Badal's demand for Laddi's arrest as frivolous and alleged that the former deputy chief minister was used to talking out of his hat.
"Do you represent Election Commission? Who are you to make this demand? They are making statement whatever comes into their mind. Baba (Parkash Singh Badal) has grown old so he cannot speak and but his junior (Sukhbir) is speaking rubbish," Amarinder said.
He said Akalis ruined the state during their regime.
They had a history of damaging the interests of Punjab, right from the time of the state's reorganisation.
"We were at number one position in the country (on economic front) and they (Akalis) have pushed the state to 29th spot now," the chief minister said in the rally.
From health to education, agriculture to industry, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) "destroyed" every institution in Punjab and continued to work against the welfare of the state and its people even now when they are in the opposition, he said.
He also lashed out at the Akalis and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for spreading a canard over the issue of school History books and urged the people of Shahkot to vote for the betterment of their area and the state.
The Shiromani Akali Dal had alleged that a major portion of Sikh and Punjab history had been removed from the Class 12 curriculum.
After which Amarinder had constituted a six-member oversight committee to examine the recommendations of the 2014 panel that reviewed the history syllabus and oversee all history books in the future.
Amarinder said that it was their own Education Minister Daljit Cheema who had set up the committee, in 2014, for review and finalisation of the History syllabus.
"Cheema was the minister in 2014 and he had formed a committee to bring change in History book and now they accuse us of deleting history of Sikh Gurus from Class 12 book," he said.
The Akalis, led by the Badals, had failed to do anything for Punjab or its people during their 10-year rule, while AAP's Sukhpal Singh Khaira was "misleading" people by spreading untruths instead of raising issues related to the welfare of the people, said the chief minister.
Speaking at the rally at Dana Mandi, the chief minister said he would not talk big like SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal or Khaira but could assure the people of Shahkot of implementing all their genuine demands.
Amarinder said every vote for Laddi would be a vote for the future of Punjab as the Congress was the only party that could bring the state's progress back on track and that believed in implementing every single poll promise.
He said he had known Laddi for a long time as a man with a "clean heart and commitment of purpose".
He reiterated his government's commitment to the implementation of its farm loan waiver scheme, irrespective of the financial burden it had inherited from the SAD-BJP government.
Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar said the bypoll was an opportunity for the people of Shahkot to make amends for their earlier mistake of voting for the Akalis.