January 7, 2017 8:32:27 am
Promising a job in every household of Punjab, the Congress, under its scheme ‘Har Ghar Captain, Har Ghar Naukri’, is continuing with the registration of unemployed youths and even issuing them ‘allowance cards’ promising Rs 2,500 per month despite the code of conduct in place for the upcoming polls on February 4.
A red-coloured card named ‘Berozgaar Bhatta Card’ (Unemployment allowance card) is being issued to an applicant after he fills a form and gets a unique ID number as proof of registration. The card has to be preserved to get Rs 2,500 per month allowance if Congress forms the government.
As per Congress sources, 28.5 lakh youths have already registered for the promised jobs and allowance. There have been no orders yet to Congress workers in districts to close the registrations.
This is not the only scheme where Captain Amarinder Singh has been promising in written and issuing receipts. Earlier, under ‘Karza Khurki Khatam, Fasal Di Poori Rakam’, Congress has issued receipts to 34 lakh farmers promising complete debt waiver.
Then under Captain Smart Connect scheme, 30 lakh people have been registered and promised free smartphones, 3G data and free voice calling for one year.
The free job promise document also comes with a ‘vow’ undersigned by Captain Amarinder Singh (in Punjabi) reading, “I, Captain Amarinder Singh, promise you that upon forming the government in Punjab, one job per family will be provided to the unemployed youth between the age of 18 and 35 years. Till such employment is provided, they will be given an unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 per month (up to 36 months). In return I want you to promise me that you will take responsibility of keeping yourself and your family drug-free. Please keep the unemployment benefit card safe with yourself.”
The punchline reads ‘Captain ne saunh chukki, har ghar ikk naukri pakki’ (Captain has taken a vow, one job every household is confirmed).
A Congress source said, “Till now, we do not have a word from the Election Commission on this and thus we are getting youths registered. However, since we know it is violation, we have toned down the promotion of this scheme now. Kiosks and stalls set up for registration have been removed, but registration is open.”
The registrations for the scheme are also open on the website http://www.hargharcaptain.com.
When The Indian Express registered to verify, the registration was successful and the message read, “Congratulations! You have successfully registered for your job/unemployment allowance now under Har Ghar Ton Ikk Captain. Your berozgaari bhatta card is given below. Make sure you download this card.”
Clear bribery, says AAP
Senior Supreme Court advocate and AAP leader HS Phoolka said this amounted to bribing the voters and was a clear violation of model code of conduct. “It is clear violation of code of conduct since the party is distributing cards to youths not only promising them jobs but also money later. The total number of government jobs in Punjab is around 4.5 lakh, of which 1.5 lakh are vacant. And Congress has already registered 28 lakh youths promising jobs to all of them. It is a blatant lie and fooling the voters. Election Commission should immediately stop this bribing of the voters,” said Phoolka.
When contacted, Punjab’s Chief Electoral Officer V K Singh said, “The Election Commission is not aware of any such scheme being run by Congress and issuance of cards promising allowance. This is unethical. We will take action against it accordingly.”
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