Real issues, not Panthic agenda, voters move on - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Real issues, not Panthic agenda, voters move on

Real issues, not Panthic agenda, voters move on

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service 

Anandpur Sahib, May 14

Voters in Anandpur Sahib, the birthplace of  the Khalsa, seem to have decided to let go of Panthic issues in favour of development. Consequently, the contestants have been forced to change track. Prem Singh Chandumajra (SAD-BJP), Manish Tewari (Congress) and Bir Devinder Singh (SAD-Taksali) are all talking of more jobs and an industrial belt to help the area grow economically.

Darshan Singh Grewal of Phulpur Grewal village, who runs a youth club, says: “We have had enough politics on the 1984 riots. That issue is over. The people here want to know who were the people behind the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib and why has the Congress not done anything to arrest them. We don’t care about river waters, transfer of Hindi-speaking areas to Punjab or federalism, as mentioned in the Anandpur Sahib resolution. Our concern is unemployment, poor economic growth and weaning drugs.” 

Residents of Mogul Majri and Phulpur Grewal have put up boards at the village entrance, asking candidates not to lure voters with liquor and other intoxicants or they will be boycotted. Boards have been installed with three queries: why have those guilty of sacrilege not been arrested; what has been done to deal with unemployment and where all have you ended drug addiction. 

Jatinder Singh, a mechanic from Chatamla village, claims a majority of youths in the constituency is jobless. “Even the educated are forced to open small shops. There are a few industrial units here, but they prefer to employ non-Punjabis. We want our political representatives to tackle this issue,” he says.

Gurdeep Singh, a panch of Mogul Majri, says political leaders must realise the people have moved on from the Panthic agenda to real issues. “We have told the candidates they may come and seek votes only if they are willing to address our concerns,” he says.

Contestants’ take  

PS Chandumajra (SAD-BJP): Religious issues are still important. Voters are happy at my efforts to have the Sikh black list scrapped and the NDA role in bringing to book those behind the 1984 riots. I have worked towards economic uplift. I will ensure excess water doesn’t go to Pakistan. This will increase the flow in Dashmesh Canal, Bist Doab Canal and Kandi Canal, which will help raise farm productivity. I will bring a cargo hub project to Mohali.

Manish Tewari (Cong): Our focus is job generation. We will try to get Rs 50,000 crore worth investment from the Centre and private investors. I have requested the Punjab Government to create an industrial zone dedicated to sunrise sectors in semi-hilly areas on the lines of Baddi and Nalagarh, to revitalise the Kharar- Kurali industrial hub and diversify Mohali’s ancillary heavy industrial base. The aim is to create 5 lakh employment opportunities.

Bir Devinder Singh (Taksali): The key issue is economic upliftment. My first priority will be to ensure that the Centre takes over the Rs 1.75 lakh crore Punjab debt. I will be moving non-official resolutions in Parliament on this as a step towards putting Punjab’s finances back on track. This will result in more jobs and infrastructure. Will ensure a defence university. Without the Centre taking over the debt, what other contestants are promising is like “Palle ni dhela, kardi mela mela”.  

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