Punjab needs NDA govt for security, economic revival: Amarinder Singh
Patiala : Punjab Lok Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said the state needed the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government for security as well as economic revival.He also criticized the Congress party’s decision to nominate Charanjit Singh Channi as the Chief Ministerial candidate despite serious allegations of corruption after seizure of Rs 10 crore from the possession of his nephew.Addressing a function organized by the District Bar Association here, two-time Chief Minister Capt Amarinder said India faced grave security challenges from the ‘China-Pakistan-Taliban’ nexus.”The challenge will be greater for Punjab for being at the forefront with a 600-km long border,” he said, while adding, “We need a government that will take the security challenge seriously and work in close coordination with the Central government.”
He gave details of the highly sophisticated drones being used by Pakistan to smuggle weapons, drugs and counterfeit currency to this side of the border. He criticized Chief Minister Channi for “senseless” opposition to the extension of the operational jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF), which was the need of the hour.
Referring to the economic situation prevailing in the state, Amarinder Singh said, while the GDP of Punjab was Rs 5.25 lakh crore, 70 per cent of it was borrowed. He said it is a humongous task to come out of this debt trap, which cannot be possible without cooperation and support from the Central government.The former Chief Minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre was going to be there, at least, for another seven years.
“We must have a government in Punjab that will work with him as that is the only way out,” he added.Capt Amarinder’s fledgling Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) is contesting the polls in alliance with the BJP and SAD (Sanyukt), an Akali Dal rebel.He is contesting from his bastion Patiala (Urban), the seat that he has won for four consecutive terms since 2002 when he first contested.In 2017, Capt Amarinder, 80, polled 72,217 votes against nearest rival Balbir Singh of the Aam Aadmi Party, who got just 19,852. Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate and former Army chief Gen J.J. Singh (retd) got just 11,613 votes. Gen Singh is now with the BJP.Punjab will go to the polls for the 117 Assembly seats on February 20.