Congress will provide free treatment to cancer patients in Punjab if voted to power, state party chief Amarinder Singh today said.The Lok Sabha MP from Amritsar said hundreds of families in the Malwa region have been devastated by the disease due to loss of life and huge expenses incurred on its treatment.
Speaking to people in Kotkapura Assembly segment during ‘Halke vich Captain’ (Captain in constituency) programme here, the PCC chief also said that his government would also try to find a long-term solution to this problem.
“It is a double whammy for the families as on the one hand they lose their near and dear ones and on the other hand they are financially broke as cancer treatment is very expensive,” he said, adding that treatment of cancer patients will be the state’s responsibility.
Amarinder, who held a similar programme in Bhatinda, also said that the Congress government will own up the entire loan amount on farmers, whether of the cooperative banks, public sector banks or the arhatiyas (the commission agents).
“We will pay each penny on behalf of the farmers to every debtor,” he said.
When asked how a cash-starved state can waive the loans, he said, the government needs to have a will.
“I know how to generate resources. I have done it in the past,” he said, adding that the party had taken all aspects into consideration, including financial condition of the state, before announcing the waiver of loans.
On the allegation of corruption by the family of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, he said, he will ensure a time bound inquiry and probe so the corrupts are punished.
The PCC president accused Badal government of the “financial mismanagement” due to which it has not been able to get the cash credit limit, saying it will only lead to harassment of farmers, who expressed their concerns that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) might not purchase their paddy crop.
He also consented to a suggestion that the economically weaker people of the society from the general category should also be extended the benefit of welfare schemes like free power up to 300 units and Shagun schemes.
Meanwhile, addressing the programme in Bhatinda, he said reports of Badal family seeking extra security cover, more than the Z-plus that it was already getting, shows that they are afraid of public wrath.
“I have always been saying that the way they treated Punjab and the Punjabis, they will have to run for their life. They have already accepted and admitted it today by asking for extra security from the Centre,” he said.
Suggesting that instead of seeking extra security cover for himself, son Sukhbir Badal and his brother-in-law Bikram Singh Majithia, Parkash Singh Badal should better ask for forgiveness from the Punjabis.
Replying to a question on the rebellion in Aam Aadmi Party, he said, he had never considered the party to be a serious challenger so rebellion or no rebellion did not matter for him or the Congress.
“But yes, I am extremely happy over the way the Punjabis have tried to assert their authority within the party,” he said, adding that self-respecting Punjabis cannot and will not allow any aliens to rule them.
During the interaction, people mostly complained about discrimination in development, welfare schemes and registration of false cases against the Congress workers.
He said that cancellation of false cases will be his top priority. Besides, he will also ensure that those who have lodged false cases are punished, including police officials and Akali Jathedars.
Amarinder said after Congress forms government, it will not resort to any discrimination in development and take care of everyone, not just its own party workers.
On the complainants about sub-standard wheat being provided in the ‘aata-daal’ scheme, the PCC chief said, his government will not only ensure quality wheat and pulses but also provide tea and sugar to the poor, besides free electricity up to 300 units.