At a standing room crowd only gathering at the Liberty Palace in Richmond Hill, New York, hundreds of Congress loyalists cheered and distributed sweets to congratulate Captain Amarinder Singh as the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Chief on his appointment by the AICC President, Smt. Sonia Gandhi.
In a resolution introduced on the floor, the meeting expressed its gratitude to Sonia ji for this bold decision at a critical time for the party in the state and congratulated Captain Amarinder Singh and wished him all the success in the future. Mr. Mohinder Singh Gilzian, President of INOC, USA, in his speech, touched upon the state of affairs in Punjab with the mismanagement and corruption under the Badal government combined with the divisive politics of its ally BJP that is harming the interest of the common people.
He cited the media reports saying that ‘Punjab continues to be on edge, and the outlook remains grim. The increasing grip of the Badal family over issues concerning Sikhs, both political and religious, coupled with incidents of sacrilege of the holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, and multiple sets of problems faced by farmers, are reinforcing the impression of a State administration at a loss for initiatives to regain equilibrium. The State is already in the grip of drug abuse, falling agricultural output and farm debts. It has faced a farmers’ agitation for over two months now. The resentment in the cotton and rice belt reached such proportions that officials were scared to venture into the villages. In addition, dissidents are threatened to a point where the freedom of expression is at risk’.
The meeting also celebrated the Constitution of India that provided stability and prosperity to the nation and saluted its architects Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and B.R. Ambedkar. Meeting also expressed concerns about the growing intolerance in India and requested the Modi Government to uphold the constitution and respect the legacy of great leaders that paved the way for a democratic and secular nation. George Abraham, Chairman, in his speech, paid special tribute to Nehru for his great contribution in building strong institutions that have served the country well in the last six decades.
Mr. Harbachan Singh, Secretary-General in his speech alluded to the Bihar election results and congratulated the State for its victory and pointed out that the Indian voter has already begun to draw his/her conclusions of the recent 18-month performance/experience with the Modi Government. ‘Captain Amarinder Singh’s appointment has rejuvenated the hopes and interests of Congress supporters and reinforced their determination to correct the mistakes of the past’ he further added.
Mr. T.J. Gill, President of Punjab Chapter exhorted the participants to be more active in supporting good governance in the State and promised to do his very best in conveying the NRI sentiment to the Captain and the new leadership in that regard.
Mr. Karamjit Dhaliwal, Vice-President Spoke about the need for the Congress cadre in Punjab to come together in unity as it will be facing the election in the near future.
Among those who addressed the audience included Bawa Rajender Singh Lally, Babu Joginder Singh Miani, Mr. Satish Sharma, Mr. Sarmukh Singh, Mr. Sarbjit Singh Advocate, Mr. Rajesh Allahdad, Mr. Jaswinder Singh Bittoo, Mr. Jagjit Singh, Manmohan Singh Miani and Mr. Gurmit Singh. Mr. Jasvir Singh Nawanshahr expressed vote of thanks.