Akali Dal to protest at Punjab assembly at budget session opening

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 14, 2018 23:20 hrs

Chandigarh, Feb 14 (IANS) The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will 'gherao' (lay siege) to the Punjab assembly on the opening day of the budget session next month to protest against the Congress government's "betrayal of the people of Punjab and the non-fulfillment of Aany of its poll promises, especially hitting farmers, farm labour and the poorer sections of society".

The party will also protest the stoppage of all social welfare benefits to the people by the present regime, a party spokesman said here on Wednesday evening following a meeting of the party core committee.

The meeting, presided over by party President Sukhbir Singh Badal, came down heavily upon Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for reneging on every promise made to the people in the Congress manifesto before assembly elections last year.

"The Chief Minister has not only betrayed farmers to whom he had promised a complete loan waiver covering nationalized and cooperative banks as well as private money lenders, but he was persecuting the poor by denying them social welfare benefits including Atta-Daal, old age pension, Shagun scheme and SC scholarship," the core committee said in a statement.

It said the party, while agitating for the right of farmers and weaker sections, would force the Congress government to include farm labourers and Dalits in the ambit of its proposed farm loan waiver.

The party also announced that the SAD and the SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee) would commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev as a global event "in full Khalsa splendor".

The Akali Dal and main opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders had stayed away from a meeting called by the Punjab government to prepare for the 550th anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev.

"The meeting clarified that there was lack of communication on the part of the Punjab government in informing the SAD about the meeting called by it to discuss modalities for observing the Parkash Purab. The SAD would wholeheartedly participate in any future meeting on this issue if it was headed by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh," the spokesman said.