Congress' Punjab unit asks Akali Dal leaders to 'make amends' during upcoming Amit Shah meeting

Chandigarh: Congress' Punjab unit on Wednesday asked Akali leaders to make amends during their proposed meeting with Bharatiya Janta Party chief Amit Shah in Chandigarh on Thursday for allegedly failing to secure the state's interests with the Centre.

"The Badals should thank Congress president Rahul Gandhi for reminding the Bharatiya Janta Party of the importance of their allies," state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said.

File image of Amit Shah. PTI

File image of Amit Shah. PTI

Shah is expected to meet the leaders of Akali Dal as part of the Bharatiya Janta Party's Sampark se Samarthan initiative, aimed at highlighting achievements of the Narendra Modi government and soliciting support in the run-up to the 2019 general election.

Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said the meeting with Amit Shah "is a golden opportunity" for the Akalis to "make amends".

He asked Akali leaders to raise issues relating to farmers, the Satluj Yamuna Link canal and escalating fuel prices with Amit Shah.

As a senior and seasoned leader, Shiromani Akali Dal's Parkash Singh Badal should also raise the pendency of the post-matric scholarship with the central government, Jakhar said.

"The Centre has been holding up the state's share of Rs 1,617 crore meant for SC/ST matric scholarship, and I urge Badals to seek an explanation from Amit Shah on it," he said.

Flanked by cabinet ministers Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Sukhbinder Singh Sukh Sarkaria and other leaders, he told reporters at the Punjab Bhavan that the Congress's performance in Gujarat and Karnataka had jolted the BJP into reaching out to its allies.

He claimed that Gandhi has emerged as a major threat to the Bharatiya Janta Party.

Jakhar pointed to Bharatiya Janta Party's defeat in recent bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, including in Kairana, and said the setbacks routed the "arrogance" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

He suggested that the Badals write to Amit Shah on Wednesday to ensure he does not visit them "empty-handed" for the meeting.

Farmers all over the country and particularly in Punjab are agitating against the policies of the Narendra Modi government and its backtracking on the promise to implement the Swaminathan Commission report, he said, accusing the Bharatiya Janta Party leaders of making false promises to the nation during the past four years.

Criticising the Akalis for allegedly politicising religion and farming issues, Jakhar said it was Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh who was not pressuring the Centre to release funds for the celebration of 550th birth anniversary of the first Sikh Guru Sri Guru Nanak Dev next year.

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Updated Date: Jun 06, 2018 19:04:04 IST

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