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Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today hit out at the opposition for raising "unfounded and unsubstantiated" issues, while reiterating his government's commitment to clean up the "mess" left behind by the previous dispensation.
Addressing the Budget Session of the state Assembly to conclude the discussion on the Governor's address, Amarinder claimed his government had inherited a state marked by "empty coffers, poor law and order situation, acute farmer distress, crippled industry and business and complete lawlessness and misgovernance".
The opposition, he said, was apparently "restless" because the truth has not yet fully unfolded.
The ruling party had never anticipated that the malaise and mess inherited by it would be so deep and widespread that the beginning of the process to provide relief to common man would be such a nightmare, he claimed.
The government was, however, committed to clean up the mess and restore order not only in public life but in every facet of the society for the benefit of common man, he said in the absence of the SAD-BJP alliance in the House.
The chief minister, who recommended to the House unanimous adoption of a motion of thanks to the Punjab governor for his address, said the Congress party had been voted to power for change and reforms to ensure good and transparent governance in the state.
He thanked the people of Punjab for ensuring peaceful elections but also for their maturity and understanding in "rooting out a ten-year-old government which not only compromised the economic, social, cultural and financial honour of Punjab, but also denied Punjabis a safe and secure future".
He alleged that Punjab had, over the last decade, suffered an "extraordinary VVIP culture, arrogance of power laden with corruption emerging out of drug trafficking and mafias of mining, liquor, land, cable, transport and many more".
Rule of law was an exception and every rogue was considered right, he claimed.
He alleged that the voice of the common man was crushed in the "jungle raj" unleashed by the previous government and listed out drugs, sacrilege and farmer suicides as some of the major problems left by the erstwhile Akali government.
He said his government had set up a fresh judicial commission of inquiry to probe the incidents of sacrilege, while a judicial commission set up to look into false cases would also come out with the truth soon.
"We shall not spare anyone involved in implicating innocent common people in false cases, be it a politician or an official," he said.
In his speech, the chief minister announced important decisions and schemes, some of which will be unveiled in the budget speech of the finance minister.
He also reiterated his government's vow not to allow the waters of Punjab to be diverted to other states at any cost.
An emotional Amarinder closed his speech with the oft-quoted lines of the poet Robert Frost.
He assured the House and the people of Punjab that his government would follow a constructive agenda and usher in better governance and restore the people's faith in democracy and the rule of law.
He concluded with a Chinese proverb, "It is better to light a lamp than to curse the darkness.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)