Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday said that with continued progress Punjab will shine like the 'Kohinoor' diamond, even as he accused the previous dispensations of failing to tackle corruption and poverty in the state.
Addressing a gathering after hoisting the national flag at a Republic day function here at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sports stadium, Mann said that even after 75 years of the Independence, the dreams of our freedom fighters such as Bhagat Singh and Dr BR Ambedkar remain unfulfilled.
People had high hopes from successive governments, but they were dashed because of corruption, poverty, unemployment and many other ills that are still deeply embedded in the state, he said. The AAP government has come like a breath of fresh air in Punjab as it is committed to fulfil the aspirations of people of the state, the CM said.
He said he would prefer dying than ever favouring his family or relatives in public works. "I do not sign any scheme which is against the interests of Punjab. The day I sign a contract of sand mining to give it to any of my relatives, then understand it to mean Mann has signed his own death warrant," he said.
Recounting the glory of martyrs from Punjab, Mann said more than 90 per cent of the patriots who were killed by the British or were subjected to torture were "in one form or the other, Punjabis." He named Baba Ram Singh, Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Rajguru, Shaheed Sukhdev, Lala Lajpat Rai, Shaheed Udham Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha, and Diwan Singh Kalepani among the freedom fighters from Punjab who lost their lives in struggle for freedom.
Even today, Punjabis are at forefront to safeguard the borders of the country, he said. Now is the time when every Punjabi must come forward and contribute in making a 'Rangla Punjab' (vibrant Punjab), and reverse the brain drain by creating opportunities here, he said.
Mann said in the first 10 months of its tenure the state government has fulfilled all major guarantees he promised to people, adding that his top priority in these months has been health, education, and job creation. He said that so far 100 Aam Aadmi Clinics have been dedicated to the people and more than 400-plus clinics will be opened on January 27.
Earlier, Mann inspected a parade led by parade commander and IPS officer Darpan Ahluwalia, and took a salute from march past by contingents of Punjab Police, Punjab Home Guards, Punjab Armed Police, NCC girls and boys, Bharat Scouts and Guides, the Punjab Police Brass band, and other school bands.