Chandigarh, August 23
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab senior leader and Leader of Opposition (LoP) Harpal Singh Cheema said controversial remarks were being made by Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Navjot Singh Sidhu through his advisers about Kashmir and Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi should make their stand clear on this. He asked, “Does the Gandhi family also accept the Indian occupation of Kashmir?”
Speaking at a press conference in the presence of party in-charge of Punjab affairs and MLA Jarnail Singh on Monday, Harpal Singh Cheema alleged that such unnecessary and irresponsible statements about Kashmir instead of innumerable important issues related to Punjab and its people, were a deliberate conspiracy of the Congress and Navjot Sidhu. “Sidhu has a well thought out conspiracy. He wants to divert the attention of the people of Punjab from the election promises of the Congress as the people have started demanding an account of the written promises made by the Congress in 2017 from Navjot Singh Sidhu after he became the President,” he added.
Cheema said being in power and still acting like a Leader of Opposition, Navjot Sindhu, when facing questions related to the ground realities, he, through his advisers had leveled the controversial remark to divert public attention and get relief for a few days. He said the people of Punjab had been questioning Navjot Sidhu and all the Congress ministers regarding expensive power and fatal power pacts, unemployment, unemployment benefits, Ghar-Ghar Rozgar, drug mafia, sand mafia, cable mafia, transport mafia, land mafia, mandi mafia and sugar mafia; which were being avoided.
Speaking on the poor performance of the Congress government, Harpal Singh Cheema said the unemployed teachers, pensioners, employees, raw-employees, Paralympic medal winners, Anganwadi and Asha workers, doctors, nurses, veterinary doctors, farmers, farm laborers, Dalits, traders and businessmen, all sitting on protests; are demanding answers from Navjot Sidhu, but Sidhu is avoiding talking about public issues. Replying to a query, Harpal Singh Cheema said that the official advisor to the Punjab Congress president could not make such a controversial statement without consulting Navjot Sidhu. He termed it as an attempt by Navjot Sidhu and his advisers to divide the country.
Fix sugarcane price at Rs 400 per quintal: Harpal Singh Cheema to state government
Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema accused the Captain government of not being clear about the sugarcane farmers, stating that the presence of Rana Gurjit Singh in the meetings between the farmers and the government on the price of sugarcane was uncalled for. He demanded that Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Punjab Congress president Navjot Sidhu and Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa should clarify what was the compulsion to include Rana Gurjit Singh in the Sugarcane Development Board and sugarcane pricing meetings. “Will the Congressmen tell how many crores of rupees the farmers owe to Rana Gurjit Singh’s sugarcane mills,” questioned Cheema. He alleged that Rana Sugars’ liability was the worst. “Then how can a defaulting mill owner be expected to protect the interests of sugarcane farmers,” said Cheema.
The AAP leader demanded that Rana Gurjit Singh should be removed from the sugarcane pricing meetings and immediately removed from the Sugarcane Development Board. He said as long as there is presence and interference of sugar mill mafia like Rana Gurjit Singh in the meetings on sugarcane price hike and payment of arrears; sugarcane farmers cannot be expected to protect the right price and their interests. Cheema demanded that the price of sugarcane (SAP) be fixed at Rs 400 per quintal, citing the lowest price.