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Badal calls for end to `misrule'

By Our Staff Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, FEB. 21. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has called upon the people to strive for "ending the misrule of the Amarinder Singh-led Congress Government'' in Punjab, as the State required an era of peace, and development. It is hopeful that a Congress defeat in the Ajnala by-election would spark off the change.

Addressing a rally to wind up his party's election campaign at Ajnala, the SAD president, Parkash Singh Badal, criticised the Chief Minister for putting an end to the pace of development and withdrawing various social welfare schemes initiated by the previous Akali-BJP Government.

According to a party release, clearly inspired by an "overwhelming response'', Mr. Badal said that the massive turn out of local voters had delivered a verdict two days ahead of the polling itself. The party claimed that its today's rally eclipsed the Congress party's gathering on Sunday. The party claimed that while voters of Ajnala alone attended its rally, the Congress had mobilised crowds from all over the State for its event.

Describing the government as "anti-people and anti-panthic,'' Mr. Badal led the charge by accusing the Chief Minister of pursuing a highly personalised agenda against him, his family and Akali leaders. The Akali Chief said that he was prepared to face the worst onslaught that the Chief Minister could launch but would not compromise on matters of principles and common interests of the people. He counted various welfare schemes by his government and charged that the Congress went back on its promises to carry on with the schemes.

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