The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said it was unfortunate that Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had put his holiday in the hills before Punjab and Punjabis as he was yet to visit Punjab or even his home constituency of Patiala after taking oath of office.
In a statement here, party MP and secretary general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said an impression had been created that Capt Amarinder had chosen to escape the summer heat as usual little caring that now he was chief minister of the State and not an opposition MLA or MP.
Dhindsa said though it was truly hot, people’s representatives were supposed to be with them and not making excuses to keep away. "Farmers are sweating it out without powder due to frequent power cuts". He said Amarinder was needed in mandis during the wheat harvesting season so that officers and procurement agencies remained on their toes and ensured there was no slackness in procurement or payment of dues to farmers.
Similarly, the Akali leader said field visits by the chief minister would have toned up the administration and made it more responsive to the people. He said Punjabi's were curious why their chief minister was keeping away from them. He said besides failing to visit any part of Punjab since the last 45 days, the chief minister had failed to interact with his electorate in his home constituency of Patiala.
Stating that this attitude did not augur well for Punjab, Dhindsa said the chief minister should have been with the people at Talwandi Sabo during the Baisakhi celebrations. He said similarly the CM should have participated in the commemorative function on the martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh on March 23. "Capt Sahab has also failed to pay obeisance at Sri Haramandar Sahab and Durgiana Mandir since taking over the reins of the State", he added.
The SAD leader said elected representatives should always put people first in all their endevours. "The first forty days of the new Congress government does not give this impression. The State has been struck by a wave of farmer suicides. The chief minister has however refused to step out of his ivory tower and show compassion for the suffering farmers and apply balm to their wounds by visiting their homes and hearths”.
Asking the new chief minister to learn from his predecessor, the SAD MP said Parkash Singh Badal always remained among the people as CM. "Sardar Badal had his ear to the ground. He always took feedback from the people and made them a part of the decision making process. He also interacted with the people through sangat darshan programmes and provided immediate succor and relief wherever needed”.
The Akali leader said in direct contrast to the pro-people rule of Badal we now have a government which is shying away from the people. "This is because this government is finding it difficult to face the people as it has not delivered on even one of its poll promises. Committees are being made to delay decision making. Excuses are being presented to prevent complete waiver of farm loans and other promises including raising social welfare pensions to Rs 2,000 per month and giving an unemployment dole of Rs 2,500 per month. Punjabi’s faith in the new government is eroding after only forty five days in power as they are finding it difficult to digest that the new chief minister is putting his holiday in the hills before them”, Dhindsa added.