Modi assured help for development: Amarinder Singh after Punjab win

Winning 77 of the 117 Assembly seats, the Amarinder Singh-led Congress had stormed to power in Punjab riding a strong anti-incumbency wave.

Chandigarh: Congress leader Amarinder Singh on Sunday asserted that his government will form a 'Special Task Force' to curb the drug menace in Punjab, while making the state more investor-friendly.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured him full cooperation for the development of the state.

Winning 77 of the 117 state assembly seats, the Amarinder Singh-led Congress had stormed to power in Punjab riding a strong anti-incumbency wave against the ruling SAD-BJP combine and warding off a spirited challenge by newcomer AAP.

On the vexed issue of Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, Amarinder said it was important to see the quantum of water available with Punjab.

"When Punjab does not have enough water, the question of giving it to other states does not arise," he said.

He said Punjab has 60 per cent of agrarian land with just eight MAF (million acre-feet) water, while Haryana with 40 per cent of agriculture land has 12 MAF water.

The Congress' chief ministerial candidate said he was committed to fulfil all the promises made by the party in its election manifesto.

"The Congress-led state government will create an investor-friendly environment in the state. We will make the state's industrial policy more liberal," he asserted, adding many top industrialists were in touch with him to set up their units in Punjab.

He said a Special Task Force (STF) will be set up to tackle the state's drug problem.

Amarinder maintained that there was a new wave in favour of Congress in the country.

On being asked whether his party would indulge in political vendetta against the Badals, he said, "We will not work with political vendetta against opponents." Amarinder also promised to bring reforms in the state police department.

"There is a financial problem in Punjab, but we are not afraid...we will ensure that poll promises are fulfilled. We will work day and night to bring Punjab back on track," he said.

Commenting on newcomer AAP's showing in the state polls, the senior Congress leader said, "AAP's bubble has burst".

"There was no wave of AAP in Punjab. The party's hype was only on social media," he said.

The senior Congress leader also pointed out the "absence of a regional figure in AAP", adding that it was the reason behind its drubbing in the state polls.

Calling for a "bigger role for regional leaders in states", Amarinder said it was vital to project a regional face who could identify with the people.

He said Congress' winning performance in three of the five states that went to polls showed that the "party's overall standing had improved."

On the 'Captain Smart Connect' programme launched ahead of the Punjab Assembly polls, he said global tenders would soon be floated to procure smartphones as promised under the scheme.

Amarinder along with his newly elected MLAs will hold a meeting at Chandigrah later in the day following which he will meet Governor V P Singh Badnore to stake claim to form the government in the state.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today submitted his resignation to Governor V P Singh Badnore following his party's defeat in the assembly polls. The senior Akali leader said that he will support the Congress government for the development of Punjab.

Lok Insaf Party (LIP) members Simarjeet Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains also announced their support to the Congress for the development of the state.

( Source : PTI )
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