Now, know Pun­jab bet­ter than Badals, Cap­tain: Ke­jri­wal

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - NATION - Ravin­der Va­sudeva and Harinder Singh Khaira

JA­LAND­HAR/KA­PURTHALA: Af­ter four days of go­ing around Pun­jab, Delhi chief min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal on Sun­day claimed he now knew the state bet­ter than its rul­ing Badal fam­ily and state Congress pres­i­dent Cap­tain Amarinder Singh.

In more than 12 pro­grammes or­gan­ised by traders, in­dus­tri­al­ists, and non-res­i­dent In­di­ans (NRIS) in Ja­land­har and Ka­purthala dis­tricts, Ke­jri­wal sold them the dream of “pros­per­ity un­der the Aam Aadmi Party rule”.

“We can win even by stag­ing ral­lies be­fore (2017) assem­bly polls. But we want to study Pun­jab closely,” said Ke­jri­wal, adding: “Other par­ties im­pose poli­cies on you; we’d have you make those.”

He said the AAP was com­ing out with a ‘Pun­jab Di­a­logue’ with stake­hold­ers to gather feed­back about their griev­ances and sug­ges­tions for the party’s elec­tion man­i­festo. “I am as­ton­ished that a huge num­ber of in­dus­trial units shut down in Pun­jab be­cause of bad gov­er­nance and ex­tor­tion un­der in­spec­tor raj.

In Delhi, the sit­u­a­tion was not dif­fer­ent be­fore we came but now look at the dif­fer­ence we have made in one year be­cause we took busi­ness com mu­nity into con­fi­dence and curbed un­nec­es­sary raids,” he added.

At another ses­sion with prom­i­nent in­dus­tri­al­ists of Ja­land­har, he heard busi­ness men rue grow­ing cor­rup­tion high elec­tric­ity tar­iff, non pay­ment of value-added-tax (VAT) re­funds, and poor in­fra struc­ture.

The NRIS at AAP’S of­fice in Cha­heru told him about their “ha­rass­ment by the state gov­ern­ment” and how “Akal goons” had grabbed their prop erty.

“NRIS have a big role to play in build­ing Pun­jab,” said Ke­jri­wal, adding: “If the AAP forms the gov­ern­ment in the state, it will work with them for the pros­per­ity of their moth er­land. We’ll make Pun­jab the best in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion in the coun­try.”

VISHAL/HT PHOTO

Po­lice lath­icharge and force­fully dis­perse BJP work­ers dur­ing their protest against AAP party leader Arvind Ke­jri­wal af­ter he ar­rived in Batala on Sun­day.

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