SAD demands dismissal of Ashu for meting out cruelty to migrant labourers by not distributing ration to them
Asks Punjab govt to waive off power bills of all Blue card holders for four months
Ludhiana: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today demanded the immediate dismissal of Food and Civil Supplies minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu for meting out cruelty to migrant labourers by refusing to distribute ration to them besides endangering the safety of citizens by forcing labourers to take to the streets because their grievances were not resolved.
Addressing a press conference here, senior SAD leaders Maheshinder Singh Grewal and Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said Bharat Bhushan Ashu was directly responsible for the crisis in Ludhiana. "Even though migrant labourers are most in need of food relief, Ashu did not distribute any food material to them despite the fact that the centre had despatched wheat and pulses for 1.40 crore people to Punjab. It is because of this that labourers took to the streets in Punjab and endangered themselves as well as other citizens by flouting social distancing norms".
The leaders said even now, when the demand for food relief was at its peak with one person even dying of hunger, the food and civil supplies minister had not resolved the grievances of depot holders due to which wheat and pulses were not being distributed to the people. The leaders appealed to chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to take charge of the department after dismissing Ashu and distribute ration among the migrant labourers on an emergency basis.
The SAD leaders, including Dakha legislator Manpreet Singh Ayali and party Ludhiana district president Ranjit Singh Dhillon, also demanded that the government waive off the power bill of all Blue card holders in the State for a period of four months. The leaders said a large number of poor people were approaching them and telling that they were unable to pay the power bills which PSPCL had started issuing recently. They demanded that the State government direct PSPCL to withdraw the bills immediately and give an undertaking to the State Electricity Regulator that it would compensate the electricity utility for the same. They also demanded that the government waive off water charges as well as all municipal taxes for all Blue card holders.
Mr Maheshinder Grewal and Mr Sharanjit Dhillon also took severe notice of the manner in which the industrial sector had been hoodwinked by the Punjab government. He said the industrialists were assured that the State would meet their demand for doing away with minimum fixed charges on industry which had been closed down during the lockdown. The leaders said now it had come to light that the State government had only promised to defer collection of fixed charges for some time and that they would have to be paid later. "This decision must be reviewed immediately in the interest of the industrial sector", they added.
The leaders also asked the chief minister to direct officials to distribute ration on merit without being influenced by Congressmen. They said genuine beneficiaries were suffering because Congressmen had commandeered the distribution operation. "Blue cards of thousands of genuine beneficiaries have been cut and ration is being diverted to Congress leaders to distribute as per their whims and fancies to their supporters. The chief minister must intervene and end this illegality immediately in public interest", the leaders added.