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SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal during a massive dharna outside the deputy commissioner Ludhiana office
Ludhiana, June 12, 2017 (Manisha Sharma): Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today said the new Congress government had lost the faith of the people by failing to take action in the sand mining scam besides reneging on its promise to waive off farmer loans as well as give jobs to each household and double social welfare benefits.

Addressing a massive dharna alongwith BJP State President Vijay Sampla outside the deputy commissioner's office here, Badal said the incompetence of the new government could be gauged from the fact that it had lost the confidence of the people within three months of government formation. He said the wrong acts of the government, including defending the illegal activities of Irrigation and Power minister Rana Gurjit, were responsible for this. He said instead of sacking Rana Gurjit immediately after it became known that his cook and employees had bid for sand mine auctions worth Rs 50 crore, the government had tried to give a clean chit to the minister.

Stating that the SAD- BJP alliance would force Rana to go, Badal said it was unfortunate that a sand and liquor mafia had come into force in the State after the Congress government came into being."It is also condemnable that incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib ji are on the increase. Law and order has gone for a toss. Murders, dacoities and gang warfare has become the norm. Even Dalits are not being spared and Congress men are unleashing repression on SAD-BJP cadre", he added.

The SAD president also castigated chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh for failing to implement his poll promise to waive off farmer loans. He said there was no need to form any committee as had been done by the Congress government. "The Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra governments have gone in for a loan waiver. Amarinder should have done the same. Not going in for a complete waiver as promised amounts to betraying the people", he added.

While speaking to newsmen after the dharna, the SAD president said Amarinder had a history of reneging on his promises. He said during his last tenure as chief minister Amarinder went back on his promise to give free power to farmers for agricultural operations. He said this trend was continuing. "Amarinder thinks he can make a fool of everyone. Now he has gone ahead and changed the names of various welfare schemes including the shagun scheme. What people want is delivery not deceit", he added.

Speaking on the failure of the Congress government to waive off farm loans, Badal said the real 'gunehgaar' was Finance minister Manpreet Badal. "It was Manpreet who prepared the election manifesto of the Congress party. It was he who assured the people that he knew from where he would take out the resources for the same. Now he cannot give excuses of lack of money. He knew the financial situation of the State. If this promise cannot be fulfilled by the Congress government it should resign and allow us to do it", he added.

Among others who were present at the dharna included Sharanjit Dhillon, Hira Singh Gabria, Ranjit Dhillon, Gurmeet Kular, Avtar Singh Makkar and Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria.