85% poll promises fulfilled, working on the rest: Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh

Interacting with media on the completion of four years of his government, the CM touched on a variety of topics including farm laws, EVMs and internal security

Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh (IANS Photo)
Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh (IANS Photo)

Bipin Bhardwaj

The Punjab government has fulfilled 85 per cent promises made by the Congress party in its manifesto before the 2017 Assembly elections and the government is working to fulfil the rest, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Thursday.

“We will fulfil 100 per cent promises for which the public had voted us to power,” Singh said while interacting with mediapersons to list the achievements of his government on completion of four years in office.

Will go to the Supreme Court if the President does not given assent to the Punjab Amendment Bills

Making it clear that his government was totally opposed to the Centre’s farm laws, Amarinder Singh has urged the Union Government not to make these laws an ego issue and immediately scrap them and bring in new laws after fresh discussions on the issue with the farmers.

“We will go to the Supreme Court if the President does not give assent to the State Amendment Bills,” he said. The Bills are with the Governor who is sitting on them instead of forwarding them for presidential approval, even though the Vidhan Sabha had unanimously passed them.

He recalled that in the matter of the Land Acquisition Act, the BJP-led Gujarat government had also similarly passed amendment Bills, which the then President had consented to.

The Chief Minister said that Agriculture was a ‘state subject’ and the Centre had no right to legislate on the matter. He flayed the central government for trying to destroy the federal structure enshrined in the Constitution by encroaching on state powers.

No one will be allowed to disturb the peace of Punjab

Taking serious note of the perceptible increase in drone movement from across the border since the farmers’ protests started gathering heat in October 2020, Amarinder Singh declared, “As long as I am here, no Khalistani or Pakistani or any other terrorist activity will be allowed to disturb the peace of the state.”

Terming the national security threat perception real, the Chief Minister said he had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah amid the farmers’ agitation to discuss this grave issue and to ask him why central forces could not be provided adequate equipment to locate and shoot down the drones.

We should revert to ballot paper system

Singh strongly advocated reverting to ballot papers system for elections. The CM said that he had once displayed to then Chief Election Commissioner Manohar Singh Gill on how EVM can be misused. He said that 20 years ago Gill had accepted that electronic device can be manipulated.

“When countries like US, UK, Japan and others which are much advanced in electronics are not using EVMs then why are we using them?” he said.

Sidhu may be joining the government soon

The CM said everyone in the government wanted cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu to be part of the government. “We had a cordial meeting

on Wednesday evening. He has sought time to decide about joining the government,” he said.

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