National

CM Mann Dubs SAD’s 'Punjab Bachao Yatra' A 'Political Gimmick'

Alleging failure of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on several fronts, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday said the party will hold a 'Punjab Bachao Yatra' from February 1 to "expose" the Mann-led dispensation. 

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Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann
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Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday dubbed the SAD's 'Punjab Bachao Yatra' a "political gimmick" and told them to rename the event as "Akali Dal Toh Punjab Bacha Lo Yatra".

Alleging failure of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on several fronts, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday said the party will hold a 'Punjab Bachao Yatra' from February 1 to "expose" the Mann-led dispensation. 

Hitting back, the chief minister slammed the SAD for the "political gimmick".

"The real name of the yatra should be 'Akali Dal Toh Punjab Bacha Lo Yatra' as the Akalis have mercilessly ruined the state during their 15 years old misrule," Mann said in a statement.

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"Due to this, the oldest political party of the state is today in dire straits and after ruling the state for the longest period they have been confined to three (out of 117 assembly) seats today," he added.

The chief minister claimed that people of Punjab are well aware of the "dubious character of the Akalis and the Badal family due to which their theatricals won't work now".

He also claimed that Punjab had lagged behind in every sphere during the SAD's long "misrule".

"The people won't ever forget that when entire Punjab had stood against the draconian farm laws, at that time the Akalis had shamelessly stood with the BJP-led Union government for their vested political interests," Mann alleged.

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"The list of anti-Punjab stance of the Akali Dal in general and the Badal family is too long. So, the need of the hour is to further send them into political oblivion," he added.

The chief minister dared the Akalis to list even a single achievement of their government during their long stint in power.

"Even the two MPs of the Shiromani Akali Dal --Sukhbir Singh Badal and Harsimrat Kaur Badal -- have never bothered to raise any issue pertaining to interests of the state or its people in the Lok Sabha," Mann said.

Earlier on Wednesday, a decision to hold "Punjab Bachao Yatra" was taken at a meeting of the SAD's core committee here, which was presided over by party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.

The SAD's core committee decided to hold the yatra from February 1 to expose the AAP government, which betrayed all sections of people, including the farmers, the weaker sections, trade and industry, youngsters and government employees, the party said in a statement.

Sukhbir Badal will lead the yatra and cover all 117 assembly constituencies, spending two days in each constituency, the SAD said.

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