Mr.Partap Singh Bajwa President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) today paid rich tributes to Shaheed Karnail Singh Issru, the first Punjabi who laid down his life during ‘Goa Liberation Movement’ at his native village here.
Addressing a largely attended conference organized to commemorate the martyrdom day of Shaheed Karnail Singh Isrru, Mr.Bajwa said on August 15, 1955 about 3000 volunteers from various parts of the state had entered Goa borders to liberate it from Portuguese rule. The Portuguese military opened fire on peaceful protesters. Shaheed Karnail Singh, a school teacher was first to take bullet on his chest.
Mr. Bajwa said that people of Punjab had made unparallel sacrifices during freedom struggle and it was the duty of every Indian to repay the debt of martyrs by giving due recognition and honour to their families. He recalled the movements like the Gadar Lehar, Kuka Lehar, Pagri Sambhal Jatta lehar, Gurdwara Sudhar Lehar and Babar Akali Lehar that made up the freedom struggle and also paid tribute to freedom fighters like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Udham Singh, Madan Lal Dhingra and Lala Lajpat Rai.
Mr.Bajwa said that India had made a tremendous progress after attaining independence in 1947 and Congress party had made a significant contribution in nation building. He said that communal and fundamentalist forces were trying to destabilize the country. He said that Punjab was also victim of communal and unholy alliance of SAD and BJP. He said that both these parties had one common agenda of playing communal card to remain in power loot the people. Punjab is growing to top position in corruption and crime and trailing behind other states in health, education and economic performance, he added.
Mr.Bajwa criticized the Sangat Darshan Programme launched by Mr.Badal and asked him to concentrate on real issues like deteriorating law and order and economic position of state. He said that with sponsored audience at Sangat Darshan programmes, he was not helping the genuine sufferers. He said that Mr.Badal cancelled his Sangat Darshan programmes in Gidderbaha and Muktsar constituencies when he was confronted with facts by Congress MLA’s.
PPCC President said that Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal with his long political experience had professed the art of speaking lies with conviction. He said that Congress party had exposed the myth of ‘Sangat Darshan programme’ of Chief Minister. He said that it was a ploy to cover up misdeeds and failures of Mr.Badal as Chief Minister and an attempt to corrupt the elected representatives of people. He pointed out that all the scams including embezzlement in rural development funds and misappropriation of Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan funds were routed through Sangat Darshan Programme.
Mr.Bajwa highlighted the achievements of UPA government at center and said that Punjab was given liberal funds by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh under various schemes. However SAD-BJP government had failed to utilize most of the funds due to shortsightedness and lack of planning. He said that center government had funded up gradation of all national highways and bridges passing through Punjab, financed rural roads under Pardhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna, set up premier education institutes like education city in Mohali and a central university, four new small airports and extended Kolkata- Delhi eastern industrial corridor up to Amritsar. He said UPA government had earmarked huge funds under Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) but Punjab government didn’t submit the proposals for development of big cities and towns.
Mr.Bajwa said that UPA Government has empowered the people in real sense. He said that right to Information Act was one of the major steps towards bringing transparency in the government working. He said that right to education was given to all children irrespective of their social status and now the Food security bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha, was an earnest attempt to make India Zero hunger country.
He opposed new taxes on people and advised SAD-BJP government to mobilise additional resources to the tune of 30 to 35 per cent by better tax compliance and diversifying the tax base, diversify the economy in general and the rural economy in particular by a vertical integration of agricultural produce with industry and developing rural the non-farm sector, increase investment (both public and private) in agricultural research and extension so as to move from low-value to high-value crops.
Mr.Bajwa lashed out at Mr.Badal for grossly misleading people on the issue of Atta-Dal scheme of his government. He said that 15 lakh people were enrolled for Atta-Dal scheme and they were not given any food items for the last over six months. Now all of sudden Mr.Badal announced to double the number of beneficiaries and reduce the cost of wheat and pulses. He said that on one hand Mr.Badal was criticizing the Food Security Bill on the other hand he was adding benefits of Food Security to Atta-Dal scheme.
Others who paid tributes to Shaheed Karnail Singh Issru included Mr.Manish Tewari Minister of state for Information Technology, Mrs. Santosh Chaudhary MOS for Health, Mr.Sukhdev Singh Libra MP, Mr. Kuljit Singh Nagra MLA and Secretary AICC, Mr. Charanjit Singh Channi MLA and Vice President PPCC, Mr. Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Kaka Randip Singh, Amrik Singh Dhillon, Navtej Singh Cheema, Mohamed Sadique, Mr.Malkit Singh Dakha, Mr.Ishar Singh Meharban, Mr.Gurmeet Singh Pehalwan, Mr.Malkit Singh Birmi, Mr.Lakhbir Singh Lakha Payal, Mr.Bikram Singh Bajwa, Mr.Darshan Singh Brar, Mr.Jaspal Singh Sarpanch and Mai Roop Kaur.