Chandigarh, January 9: Amid slogans of ‘Saada naara, Captain dobaraa’, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday declared that he would not quit politics till he had ensured jobs for the youth and opportunities for all to grow in a progressive Punjab.
Addressing Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) members and workers at the installation ceremony of the youth wing’s newly elected office-bearers, including its president Barinder Singh Dhillon, at the Congress Bhavan here, Captain Amarinder made it clear that he would continue to lead the state in its growth and development.
“This is my state, you are all my people…I will always be here for you, and will not go anywhere till I have ensured the welfare of every citizen of Punjab,” the Chief Minister vowed, amidst cheers and slogans from an enthusiastic crowd of youth, many of whom could be heard demanding that he should continue to stay at the helm for many more terms.
Captain Amarinder assured the newly elected office bearers of his government’s full support in ensuring holistic development, and promised them they will would get full respect from officials and others in all departments for any work in the interest of the state and its youth.
The Chief Minister exhorted the youth to come forward to protect and safeguard the nation and its Constitutional principles of democracy and secularism. The Congress was the only party that could provide secular, democratic rule, he said, describing the situation prevailing in the country today as extremely distressing. The Congress fought for India’s independence and the Constitution was framed on the Preamble of a socialist secular democratic republic, he pointed out, adding that though the various Articles of the Constitution had since undergone many amendments, the Preamble has remained untouched.
The Preamble cannot be allowed to be tinkered with, said Captain Amarinder, lashing out at the current attempts by the BJP to divide the nation. “What prevails today is not Lok Raj but goonda raj. We all know what happened with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Uttar Pradesh,” he said, underlining the need for youth to take the lead in saving the country.
Referring to his government’s development agenda for Punjab, the Chief Minister said it was his vision to revive the state’s economic health, and added that he was perpetually thinking of ways and means of doing so. Referring to his government’s flagship Ghar Ghar Rozgar scheme, he said the private sector was supporting the initiative in a big way to supplement job opportunities for youth. A large number of youth had already secured good jobs in the private sector, with one girl even getting a yearly package of Rs 42 lakhs, he pointed out, adding that his government was doing its best to woo industry into the state to generate more employment opportunities.
Charging the Akalis with ruining the state to promote their self-interest, Captain Amarinder blamed them squarely for the spread of drugs and gangsterism in the state. He flayed them for what he called the state’s second partition, which caused industry to shift to Haryana/NCR and tourism to Himachal Pradesh, leaving Punjab to struggle with poor resources.
Speaking on the occasion, Cabinet Minister Vijay Inder Singla said the youth body had been a great breeding ground for future leaders.
Sharing his thoughts, MLA Zira Kulbir Singh Zira lauded former Punjab Youth Congress presidents, including Singla, MLA Jalalabad Raminder Singh Awla, and Amarpreet Singh Lalli for their leadership, and expressed the confidence that new team would further strengthen the party at the grassroots. He also requested the Chief Minister to give prominent posts to former PYC chiefs and members for their service to the party and the state.
Awla thanked the Chief Minister for choosing him to serve Jalalabad by supporting his candidature in the recent bypolls. It is only the Congress which always recognises and rewards talent and hard work, he added.
Lalli congratulated the new PYC president and expressed confidence that the new team would be at the forefront in disseminating the policies of Congress government across the length and breadth of the state.
General Secretary PYC Mohit Mohindra also congratulated the new team and urged all Congress workers to work incessantly to ensure success for the party in the next election too, under the leadership of Captain Amarinder.
Lauding the Chief Minister for heralding an era of all-round development, the new youth Congress president Barinder Singh Dhillon urged all youth activists of the party to vigorously spread the state government’s programmes and policies. Thanking the Chief Minister for ensuring political space for youngsters, especially from middle class families, Dhillon said leaders like Raja Warring, Kulbir Zira and Dalvir Singh Goldy, amongst others, could only succeed because of the vision and leadership of Captain Amarinder. Dhillon said Captain Amarinder Singh had brought Punjab back from the brink of bankruptcy – a legacy of the previous Akali government – with astute financial management.
MLA Raja Warring adding that even after becoming a legislator he always wanted to serve the people by leading the Youth Congress. He thanked Captain Amarinder and Rahul Gandhi for giving him the opportunity to serve the nation by appointing him All India Youth Congress president, he added.
Prominent amongst others present on the occasion were Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Forest Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Food Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, AICC Secretary and Youth Congress in charge Krishan Allavaru, MLA Dhuri Dalvir Singh Goldy, MLA Chabbewal Raj Kumar Chhabewal, MLA Fazilka Davinder Singh Ghubaya and MLA Gurdaspur Barindermeet Singh Pahra.