Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM) Chairman Balbir Singh Rajewal on Saturday made three major announcements on his ‘Punjab agenda’ for the upcoming state polls and said a ‘Hisab-Kitab Commission’ would be set up to investigate the plunder of the state by politicians and their associates over the past 20-25 years. He said those who looted Punjab will not only be held accountable but the stolen money will also be recovered.
The SSM is a political front launched by 13 farmers’ unions to contest the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab.
Rajewal on Saturday, while announcing that the party manifesto will be released next week, also said that the Punjab Lokpal, which is now a toothless tiger, will be given more powers to tackle corrupt politicians and their associates. He added that it was common knowledge that politicians had formed syndicates to plunder state revenue-generating resources.
“If our morcha is elected to power, we will force all the thieves to return all the money looted. We will spare no one,” he said.
The second major announcement made by Rajewal on Saturday concerned small traders, owners of dhabas and truck shops and those running repair shops. “If the morcha forms the next government, we will charge the electricity tariff to all these small traders on national tariffs instead of commercial tariffs,” he said.
Rajewal’s third announcement on Saturday was for farmers, who take agricultural loans from cooperative banks. The president of SSM said that if elected to office, no interest will be charged to farmers who repay their agricultural loans on time. He said that from now on the interest rate on these crop loans was 7%, but a 3% subsidy is given by the central government and the farmers still have to pay 4% interest on these. loans. “Our government will not charge any interest on loans which are advanced twice by cooperative banks – for Rabi and Kharif crops – in one year and which farmers have to repay after each crop cycle,” he said. Speaking about the morcha’s campaign strategy, he said it would pick up where the farm unrest left off and it would get stronger in the days to come. Rajewal said that his Union Bhartiya Kisan will participate on January 31 in the “Vishvasghat Divas” for which the call was made by the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM). He said he ordered members of his union to take part in divas in droves. He said he had submitted documents proving the corruption of some AAP leaders, but AAP national official Arvind Kejriwal ignored it.