Senior Congress leader and former union Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur has asked Europe based non-resident Indians to participate in the political process in Punjab. She was addressing a congregation of the Punjabi community in Milan that mostly consisted of youth.
"Punjab is passing through a crucial stage as elections are less than six months away and these elections are going to decide the destiny of Punjab and the Punjabis”, she said, while adding, it was only the Congress that can provide a strong, stable and effective government under the leadership of Capt Amarinder Singh.
Kaur is currently on a tour of European countries to interact with the Punjabi diaspora there for the forthcoming elections in Punjab.She was accorded a tumultuous welcome by the NRI community, many of whom thanked her for helping them during her tenure as the External Affairs Minister.
The former union minister maintained that the Akali-BJP regime during last about ten years had destroyed and devastated Punjab beyond redemption. At the same time, she warned, Punjab cannot afford any experiment lest the situation drifted and deteriorated further.
"You and your relatives and elders back home have seen both the regimes, one led by Capt Amarinder and the other led by the Badals and you make a choice yourself”, she said, while adding, that the NRIs had an important role as they can influence public opinion back home.
"Punjab's youth is dogged by drugs and unemployment; its trade and industry have touched the lowest ebb, farmers are debt ridden and are committing suicides, small traders have almost shut shop and major business houses have migrated”, she told the NRI community in Milan, while adding, "Punjab is also ruled by various mafia groups: Drug Mafia, Sand Mafia, Transport Mafia, Cable Mafia and all controlled by the Badals”.
She recalled that Capt Amarinder motivated investors and major IT industries, Quark and Dell, were the first to come to Punjab. "Many major industrial houses evinced interest in agro industries. Unfortunately, all investors fled the State after having been intimidated by the Badals”, she said.
Cautioning people against the new outfit AAP, she said, it was totally inexperienced. "In Delhi, people gave them unprecedented mandate but they failed to live up to the expectations of the Aam Aadmi (common masses). "They could neither govern nor could deliver anything. They have betrayed the trust of the people”, she said, while pointing out how Ms Sheila Dixit served Delhi for 15 years, without any complaint against anybody including the then Vajpai government.