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Second leg of Vikas Yatra begins

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GOING TO THE PEOPLE: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and his Cabinet colleague Chaudhary Jagjeet Singh wave to the people in Chaugawan town, during the second phase of `Punjab Vikas Yatra' which rolled on from Attari on Wednesday.
GOING TO THE PEOPLE: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and his Cabinet colleague Chaudhary Jagjeet Singh wave to the people in Chaugawan town, during the second phase of `Punjab Vikas Yatra' which rolled on from Attari on Wednesday.

Staff Correspondent

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday invoked the blessings of the legendary Sikh warrior Sham Singh Attariwala for the success of the Congress party in the forthcoming elections to the State Assembly.

According to an official release, the second round of the Punjab Vikas Yatra began on Wednesday in the Majha region, that falls between the Beas and Ravi rivers, after offering prayers at the samadhi of Sham Singh Attariwala in his native village, Attari, a few hundred metres from the India-Pakistan border. A direct descendant of the great martyr, Kuldip Singh, bestowed a "siropa" on Capt. Amarinder Singh.

Addressing a congregation, Capt. Singh cited the upbeat mood of the party rank and file in the Congress, especially the youth, who seemed eager to give a "historic" drubbing to the Akalis. He said this was why he chose the native place of the great martyr and warrior who won the battle of Sabraon against the British in the Anglo-Sikh wars. About the mechanism for redressing grievances of the citizens who handed over their representations to him during the Vikas Yatra, Capt. Singh said he had ordered a special cell to be set up in the Chief Minister's Office.

Accusing the Akalis of fanning communalism by mixing religion with politics to their own advantage, the Chief Minister said his predecessor Parkash Singh Badal had brought disgrace to the Sikh Panth for his vested interests and reduced the party to a private company.

Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal expressed confidence that the tremendous response to the Vikas Ytra in the Malwa belt would be replicated in the Majha and Doaba regions. She described Capt. Singh as a true Sikh who had brought glory to the Sikh Panth by commemorating mega events connected with the Panth.

Capt. Singh visited the residence of Swaran Lal, son of Radho Singh, a grassroots Congress worker and Dalit leader who sustained a head injury during a protest at Matka Chowk in Chandigarh way back in 2000 when Capt. Singh was PCC president. He also shared a meal with the family.


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