Punjab polls: Kejriwal promises traders freedom from extortion; Akalis hit back at AAP chief

Kejriwal, along with party’s chief ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann, announced that after March 10 no leader or officer in the state would intimidate any businessman or get him raided. 

Published: 17th February 2022 03:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th February 2022 08:43 AM   |  A+A-

Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

By Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday made several promises related to security of businessmen, traders and common people of poll-bound Punjab.

Kejriwal, along with party’s chief ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann, announced that after March 10 no leader or officer in the state would intimidate any businessman or get him raided. 

“After the formation of AAP government, if any of our MLAs or ministers asks for a share from businessmen, then we will take an immediate action against the leader,” Kejriwal said.

He said the leaders of Akali Dal and Congress, while in power, ask traders for share and weekly cuts. If people refuse to pay they are intimidated with the threats of raids. “The businessmen of Punjab are most troubled by corrupt politicians and officers.

To eliminate the fear of traders, we will completely eliminate Inspector Raj, Raid Raj and illegitimate tax to create a safe environment for business.” Kejriwal appealed to all traders and arhtiyas of Punjab for support and urged them to give a chance to the AAP this time. “Just as we have won the hearts of the traders of Delhi, we will win yours too,” the Delhi CM said.

Bhagwant Mann assured businessmen and traders that AAP leaders won’t ask for any share from them, but will make them a partner in the government. “Our government will work closely with traders and make new schemes to promote business.”

Hitting back at Kejriwal, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday urged people to not "trust" the AAP and its chief, who only wants to "deceive" them with big promises in the same manner former chief minister Amarinder Singh earlier did.

The SAD president made the comments while addressing public gatherings at Dharamkot for Tota Singh and at Nihalsinghwala for Baldev Singh Manuke.

"The truth is that Punjabis gave a chance to the Aam Aadmi Party in 2017 by electing 20 of its legislators and even made it the principal opposition party in the state."

"However instead of working for the welfare of Punjabis, 11 out of its 20 legislators joined hands with the Congress party. Now you cannot trust AAP with your vote again," he said.

On promises being made by the AAP, Badal said its election will mean withdrawing of free electricity to farmers.

"Punjabis should be clear that the Delhi model meant that the free power facility being availed by farmers in the state would be withdrawn."

"The AAP will also not extend social welfare benefits started by the SAD including the old age pension, 'Aata-daal' and 'Shagun' schemes," he said.

He said in Delhi, the AAP government was not giving even one rupee to women as a welfare measure even as it has promised Rs 1,000 per month to women in Punjab.

Badal said thousands of contractual employees in Delhi have been protesting for eight years demanding regularisation.

"I do not understand how Kejriwal can promise regularisation of contractual employees in Punjab when he is on record to have said that employees do not work if they are regularised," the leader said.

Asserting that the SAD alone represented their aspirations, Badal said the SAD governments were responsible for all the development done in the state, be it establishment of thermal plants, or construction of 4-6 lane roads, airports, and irrigation facilities.

"The Congress party does not have one achievement to its credit", he claimed, adding Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi also admitted as much.

He alleged that the Amarinder Singh government of 2002-07 had only done patch work on state roads.

(With PTI Inputs)

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