Chandigarh, July 14 IANS | 2 years ago

Punjab's opposition Congress Sunday blamed the Parkash Singh Badal government for not addressing the problems of unemployed youth, who are agitating to get jobs and which led to the recent suicide of a youth in Tarn Taran district.

State Congress chief Pratap Singh Bajwa blamed the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state for the suicide by unemployed lineman, Sarabjit Singh, at Tarn Taran.

Addressing workers in Kapurthala, 170 km from here, Bajwa said this was the second incident in last one month when an unemployed youth had ended his life in utter helplessness.

Bajwa said that earlier, Jaswinder Singh, a veterinary pharmacist in Bathinda -- the constituency of Akali Dal MP and Badal's daughter-in-law Harsimrat Kaur Badal -- had committed suicide under similar circumstances.

He said that jobless linemen were protesting for the last many months and also held a 35-day-long hunger strike.

Bajwa said Sarabjit Singh was among the jobless linemen who met deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal at Chandigarh last week. "Badal didn't pay any heed to their demands," he claimed.

He demanded a compensation of Rs.10 lakh and suitable jobs to kin of each of unemployed youth who committed suicide. He said that during the previous government headed by Badal (2007-2012), the unemployed linemen were promised jobs but this did not happen.

Bajwa said he feared that if an immediate solution to the problem of unemployment was not found, it will trigger a spate of suicides.

The Congress leader said there were plenty of incidents of self-immolation and suicides by unemployed youth and many times they were seen protesting on water tanks but the Punjab government had no concern about their plight.

"Non-governance, corruption and vested interests of Badal family are responsible for suicides by unemployed youth and also the farmers in state. In its election manifesto, the Akali Dal had promised to pay unemployment allowance of Rs.1,000 per person and the youth supported them in the hope of getting allowance and jobs," Bajwa alleged.

He said the Congress party would approach the courts against the "false" promises made by SAD-BJP government to the youth.

(Posted on 14-07-2013)