A day after Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh directed officials to revisit all the power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed by the previous SAD-BJP government, Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu Thursday claimed that the issues raised by him have started bearing fruit. Sidhu also indirectly backed the CM on subsidised power for farmers even as he again flagged the five ‘key issues’ faced by the state.
Sidhu, who was in Jalandhar, to meet party leaders, said that he had gone to meet the chief minister with priority issues to be taken up in the state.
“Sade panj nukati priority areas hun, jinhan te boor paina shuru ho gaya hai (We have (raised) five priority areas…they have started bearing fruit now),” said Sidhu.
At his first meeting Tuesday with Amarinder after his appointment as the PPCC chief, Sidhu had reminded the CM about the 18-point programme and had sought action on five priority areas – the 2015 desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib and the police firing on protesters, arrest of the “big fish” in drug rackets, cancellation of power purchase agreements, rejection of the Centre’s new farm laws and agreeing to the demands by government employees.
Indirectly backing Amarinder Singh on subsidised power for farmers, and in an apparent attack at the Aam Aadmi Party government in the national capital, he said, “If you see the Delhi model, a subsidy of Rs 1,700 crore is being given in Delhi in comparison to Rs 10,000 crore of subsidy being given by Punjab.”
He said there is hardly any state in the country which provides so much power subsidy. He said power for industry in Punjab is also “much cheaper” than that in Delhi.
He said state power utility PSPCL produces only 20 per cent power requirement of Punjab. It provides power to consumers at subsides rates while purchasing it at a higher price due to the wrong and faulty PPAs signed by the previous government.
Referring to the farm laws, Sidhu said, “These black laws are illegal, unconstitutional and an attack on the federal structure.”
“As was done on the SYL issue, the Punjab government should reject these laws completely by announcing that they will not be implemented,” he said, recalling Punjab’s tough stance on river water sharing with Haryana.
In Jalandhar, Sidhu interacted with party workers from all 13 Assembly segments of Jalandhar and Kapurthal districts. Ten workers from each segment were supposed to have one to one talk with Sidhu.
But from Jalandhar, a huge number of workers reached the venue leading to chaos. Sidhu then addressed the workers and leaders instead having one to one talk.
Meanwhile, he managed to meet workers from the Kapurthala assembly segments. From Jalandhar, all the party MLAs were present but from Kapurthala, only Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal (Phawagra) was seen while Navtej Cheema (Sultanpur Lodhi), Rana Gurjit Singh (Kapurthala) and Sukhpal Khaira (from Bholath) gave the meeting a miss.