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Alliances to decide fate of LS polls: Capt

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said results of the 2019 parliamentary elections would depend on how alliances are stitched ahead of the polls.

Talking to US Ambassador Kenneth Ian Juster, who called on him this afternoon, the CM said the Congress, which is working for a grand alliance of non-Bhartiya Janata Party parties, was definitely set to gain in 2019 polls as the BJP was fast losing ground.

Meanwhile, favouring privatisation as a tool for development, Amarinder said the state’s new industrialization and business policy was playing a key role in bringing in private investment, with a whopping Rs.20,000 crore already committed by investors since his government took over.

Amarinder told the visiting delegate that as the state agriculture minister way back in 1985, he had prevailed upon the PepsiCo, an American multinational food, snack, and beverage company, to set up a potato chips plant in district Sangrur, which was probably the first ever multinational company in Punjab.

He said the new industrial policy was aimed at providing lucrative incentives and benefits to the investors and entrepreneurs who were keen to set up their ventures in the state.

Amarinder expressed the confidence that Punjab would soon emerge as the most favoured investment destination in the country due to its investor friendly industrial policy, including uninterrupted power at Rs Five per unit for the industry, along with other incentives.

He assured Juster that the state government would provide all possible support and cooperation to the American investors who wish to set up their industrial units in the state.

Expectations of the people in Punjab were extremely high, and his government was committed to meeting them, said the CM , pointing out that the exodus of industry which the state had seen during the days of terrorism was now reversing.

Asserting that his government had a great relationship with the Centre, which had been very helpful, Amarinder pointed to India’s diversity to underline the importance of communal harmony.

Extremism of any kind could not work here, he said, adding that his government had brought the Bill to make sacrilege offence punishable with life imprisonment to ensure this.

The CM pointed out that Punjab is predominantly an agrarian state having mere two percent of land but contributing over 40 percent of its share in country’s food basket.

“It is now the time for us to shift from agrarian economy to high-tech industry as our conventional agriculture has already reached a plateau,” he said.