Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], April 4 (ANI): The Shiromani Akali Dal on Saturday announced that it would organise demonstrations in every constituency across Punjab on April 5 to protest against the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government's hike of domestic power tariff, hefty state taxes on Diesel and petrol. The dharna will also protest "the denial of the Post Matric Scholarship to dalit students and the total breakdown of law and order machinery in the state".
"The dharnas will focus on the hike in domestic power tariff from Rs 5 to Rs 10 per unit, unbearable state taxes accounting for the bulk of the hike in the prices of diesel and petrol, denial of the Post Matric Scholarship to dalit students," said a party statement.
The party called upon the Chief Minister to slash the state taxes by 50 per cent at least and then seek a matching reduction in the central taxes. "Both the Centre and the state governments are colluding to turn the state government into an "immoral profit-making venture" instead of making Punjab a welfare state.
SAD also said that "the total breakdown of law and order machinery in the state" is another matter of concern to be addressed in the protest.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting on Saturday of the core committee of the party presided by party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Badal's principal advisor Harcharan Bains said that the meeting strongly condemned "the dastardly lethal attack on the popular farmers' leader Rakesh Tikait by BJP activists last night and demanded a high-level judicial probe to expose the forces behind the attack."
The meeting maintained that the 'neither here nor there' stance taken by the Punjab Chief Minister and the irresponsible anti-farmer statements by several members of the BJP was responsible for the attack.
Bains said that that the Core Committee blasted attacked the Centre for the Union Home Ministry's official "communication" to the state government, that allegedly accused Punjab framers of keeping the migrant farm labourers as "bonded labour" and getting them hooked to "drugs".
A Resolution passed by the Core Committee here this afternoon accused the Chief Minister of "abdicating his constitutional obligations for the maintenance of peace, communal harmony and law and order. Consequently, the state is drifting dangerously towards conditions of utter lawlessness and violence. (ANI)