CHANDIGARH: Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu has written to party president Sonia Gandhi listing priority areas for the Punjab government to deliver, terming it as the last damage-control exercise. He also sought an appointment with her to present a “Punjab Model” with a 13-point agenda, which can be part of the manifesto for the 2022 assembly polls.
The letter dated October 15, which was shared by Sidhu on Twitter on Sunday, was written after he held a meeting with Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders in Delhi.
The points highlighted by Sidhu include justice in sacrilege cases, drug menace, agricultural issues, affordable power, cancellation of the faulty power purchase agreement, welfare of scheduled caste and backward class, employment and cable mafia.
Sidhu warned that "mafia-raj ruling the state patronised by Badals will take the state to the extent of financial emergency, joblessness, corruption and agrarian crisis, from which there will be no return".
Requesting Sonia to consider the points highlighted by him, Sidhu urged her to direct the state government to act in the best interest of the people of Punjab immediately.
"I always strive to follow the values of our party to empower the poorest of the poor, to give opportunities to the last man in the queue... one of the main reasons for dislike against me by powerful people associated with the mafia ruining the state," he said.
Highlighting the financial woes of the state, Sidhu stated that Punjab, for decades, was the richest state of the country but has now become the most indebted state. He held financial mismanagement over the last 25 years and diversion of public resources responsible for making a few “powerful people" rich and leaving the state debt-distressed. He accused the BJP-led central government of discrimination against Punjab while paying its financial dues such as GST payments, rural development fund and post-matric scholarship.
He alleged that government hiring was at lowest wages and on contractual basis as the state did not have enough resources.
"Every year, the government has to take new debt to support basic development works, to invest in 60:40-shared central government schemes, provide health care, education and infrastructure," he rued.