No possibility of revival of terrorism: Punjab CM

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. (File Photo: IANS)

Phagwara, Oct 18 (IANS) Dismissing as fearmongering the attempts of the opposition Akalis and BJP to spread panic among the people on the issue of terrorism, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday dubbed the opposition’s statements on this count as petty politicking, and ruled out any possibility of revival of terrorism in the state.

Upping the ante against the SAD and the BJP just two days before the bypolls in four constituencies, the Chief Minister said these parties had no connect with the ground realities and were desperately fighting to stay relevant in the electoral game.

Reacting to the state BJP chief’s statement of terrorism rearing its head again in the state, Amarinder Singh said his government had successfully cracked down on all militant and mafia groups and would not allow anyone to vitiate the state’s peaceful atmosphere at any cost.

He pointed out that 24 terror modules had already been busted by Punjab Police, with 130 persons apprehended and put behind bars, along with seizure of 450 weapons.

Talking to mediapersons during a roadshow here in favour of Congress candidate Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, the Chief Minister reiterated his stance on the release of Sikh prisoners and police personnel convicted during the days of militancy.

The matter had dragged on long enough and needed to be brought to a logical end, he said, adding that many of the people whom the government of India had decided to release had been in prisons for about 25 years or so and some were aged over 80.

Their release on humanitarian grounds was justified, he added.

Amarinder Singh denied any impact of the global financial crisis on Punjab, owing to the revival of economy in the state during the last two-and-a-half years.

He pointed to the Rs 50,000 crore worth of on-ground investments as a sign of the strong confidence of investors in his government’s pro-industry policies.

The Chief Minister listed out many of his government’s accomplishments of the past two-and-a-half years to underline the successful implementation of its promises.

Any referendum on his government at the end of its term would be a positive one, he asserted, adding that of the 161 promises listed in the manifesto, as many as 125 had already been fulfilled at the half-way mark of his term.

He pointed to debt waivers to the tune of Rs 4,700 crore up to five acres of land, health insurance of over 70 per cent of the state’s population and development and repair of rural link roads as some examples of the work done by his government.

On the issue of joint 550th ‘Prakash Purb’ celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, Amarinder Singh hoped Sukhbir Badal would not undermine the authority of the Akal Takht Sahib, before which every Sikh bows with reverence.

In response to another question, he said Punjab had been fighting against the imposition of $20 fee by Pakistan on pilgrims on the Kartarpur corridor as well as the condition of passport and 30-day advance notice by pilgrims.

The state government had taken up the issue with the Centre to prevail upon it to resolve the matter with Islamabad and ensure ‘khulle darshan deedar’ of the historic Kartarpur Gurdwara for the Sikh community.

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