Throwing the gauntlet back in their court, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday came out with concrete data to prove his claim on employment generation in the state, asserting that it was the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) that should apologise for once again misleading the people with their brazen, baseless and unfounded lies. Sukhbir Badal and his bunch of ignorant party colleagues had absolutely no clue what was happening in Punjab, said Captain Amarinder, adding that in their perpetual haste to react to every word uttered by him (chief minister), they had become habitual of putting their foot in their mouth at the drop of the hat, without checking the veracity of their comments.

Actually, the figure for jobs generated since April 1, 2017, was even higher than the 11 lakh he had `mouthed’ (a word of Akali choosing), while campaigning for Congress candidates in Delhi, said the Chief Minister, releasing the actual figures. As per the official data available to him, the number of government jobs generated from April 1, 2017 to December 31, 2019 was 57,905, with  3,96,775 under private placement and another 7,61,289 facilitated by his government in the self-employment category, he added. “And for the convenience of Sukhbir and company, let me tell them that these figures total up to 12,15,969, which was considerably higher than 11 lakhs he had earlier mentioned, off the cuff, during the Delhi campaign,” said the Chief Minister. This, said Captain Amarinder, was in addition to the 20,21,568 households given employment under the MGNREGA scheme, which translated into a whopping 648.26 lakh mandays.

Challenging the Akalis to release the figures for employment in the 10 years of their misrule, the Chief Minister said his government had already done more in three years than they had delivered in a decade, on every important parameter. Instead of showing any signs of regret for failing the citizens of Punjab on every count during their regime, and instead of leveraging their presence in the Central Government for the past nearly six years for the benefit of the state, the SAD continued to indulge in pathetic theatrics, said Captain Amarinder.

Pointing out that Sukhbir and his party colleagues had, time and again, proved that they were totally ignorant of the ground realities in Punjab, and had no connect with the aspirations of the people, the Chief Minister said this ignorance had cost them heavy in the last Assembly polls and would continue to spell their doom in the coming years. Their (SAD’s) pathetic attempts to mislead the people of Punjab with their shameless lies would not succeed; in fact, they would only plunge the Akalis further into the abyss of political oblivion, he added.

It was time, said Captain Amarinder, that the Akalis stopped ‘mouthing’ such blatant falsehoods and started playing the role of a constructive opposition to part the Congress government in the state in its efforts to bring Punjab back to its pristine glory.

His government, said the Chief Minister, was committed to ensuring jobs for all the eligible youth in the state, and to taking its flagship ‘Ghar Ghar Rozgar’ scheme to its successful culmination. “Neither the false claims of the Akalis nor the unsubstantiated allegations of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) can sway the people, who are intelligent enough to know where their welfare lies,” he declared.

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