Sunil Jakhar takes over as PPCC chief

Sunil Jakhar takes over as PPCC chief
Sunil Jakhar takes over as PPCC chief

CHANDIGARH:  Senior Congress leader Sunil Jakhar today formally took over as the president of the Punjab Congress here, vowing to ensure fulfilment of all party promises in a healthy political environment.

Addressing mediapersons here soon after taking over as the PPCC chief, Jakhar said the Congress would never indulge in vendetta politics as has been repeatedly asserted by Chief Minister Amarindar Singh.

He said there was no vendetta politics by party workers against the Akalis and termed as apolitical some recent reported clashes between the workers of the two parties.

Jakhar said the party’s workers and foot soldiers would act as ambassadors of the government and disseminate its messages and programmes among people.

His biggest challenge, he said in response to a query, was to ensure that all party promises to the people were fulfilled, for which the chief minister had assured full cooperation of his government.

Jakhar said he would ensure that the Punjab Congress builds a two-way communication between the government and the people in the state.

He listed effective governance as the top priority of the party and said all efforts would be made to ensure efficient delivery of services to the common man.

Besides the chief minister, several of his cabinet colleagues and senior leaders of All India Congress Committee (AICC) and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) attended the ceremony at the party’s state unit headquarters here.

AICC leaders Harish Chaudhary, Asha Kumari and Ambika Soni were joined by state ministers and party leaders Manpreet Badal, Navjot Sidhu, Raja Warring, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Lal Singh, among others, to congratulate Jakhar.

On the SYL controversy, Jakhar said it was also the responsibility of the central government to resolve the issue and thanked the prime minister for his intervention in the matter.

He said he had personally requested former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to take an all-party delegation to meet the prime minister on the issue but it was rejected.

He expressed optimism that the issue would be resolved through consensus, for which the prime minister had already initiated measures.

On the low cleanliness ranking for his constituency, Abohar, in a government survey, Jakhar said he would ensure the formulation of a comprehensive policy to make cities of Punjab the cleanest.

His priority was to ensure basic amenities throughout the state, he added.

Jakhar also issued a stern warning to officers in the state government to fall in line or face action, saying Singh was giving them time to pull up their sleeves and follow the policies of the new government which were in the interest of the state and its people.

To a query about sand shortage in the state, Jakhar said sand will be made available at an affordable price with the implementation of the new mining policy. It will bring about transparency in the business leading to an increase in revenue for the government.

In response to another question, Jakhar said, “The real face of the Aam Aadmi Party has been exposed and the people are feeling cheated.”

Congratulating Jakhar on the occasion, the chief minister said he was the best person to strengthen the party and help the government fulfill all its promises to the people of Punjab.

He urged party workers to pull up their sleeves for the upcoming municipal corporation elections, saying out that the civic bodies were in a mess and needed to be revived for the welfare of the people.

“The Akalis ruined Punjab which was reeling under an unprecedented debt of Rs 2.5 lakh crore, as against Rs 1.3 lakh crore debt estimated earlier,” Amarinder said, warning that his government would deal strictly with all those responsible for bringing the state to the brink.

Describing Sunil as an honest person, the chief minister assured him of full support from the government in the implementation of all party promises.

All party workers found delivering on the promises would be suitably rewarded, he added.

Speaking after formally taking over as state unit chief, Jakhar accused the Akalis of politicising the entire administration and the police.

Jakhar alleged that there was ‘jungle raj’ under the previous Akali regime and the Congress workers would act as watchdogs to ensure that the rule of the law prevails in the state.

“Congress workers would take the government agenda to the people and get their feedback in order to ensure smooth functioning and redressal of people grievances,” he said, adding that the Congress government stood for people, “unlike the SAD regime which worked only in the interest of the Akalis”.

Thanking AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi and the Punjab chief minister for reposing faith in him, an emotional Jakhar said he was touched by the responsibility and opportunity given to him despite his recent electoral defeat in Punjab assembly polls.

He was, however, quick to caution that it was not a time for celebration but to take stock of the party’s strengths and performance in order to ensure that the promises made to the people are fulfilled in all earnestness.

“Formation of the Congress government in the state was only the first step and the party faces a long battle ahead,” Jakhar said as he exhorted Congress men to pull up their socks.

A positive beginning has been made, he said, referring to the procurement of wheat, the formation of a commission to review “false cases” and the efforts made for breaking the backbone of the drugs mafia.

Recalling his long association with Jakhar and his family, Lal Singh lauded the new PPCC chief’s contribution in raising vital issues during his tenure as CLP leader.

Harish Chaudhary said the appointment would strengthen the organisational structure, while Asha Kumari termed his appointment as a new chapter in the Congress’ history.

Ambika Soni lauded the PPCC leadership for steering the party’s victory in the recent state assembly polls. (AGENCIES)


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