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Rising unemployment is key poll issue: Jakhar

Chandigarh | Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar on Wednesday said “growing” unemployment under the BJP regime is one of the key poll issues ahead of the general elections.

Jakhar accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of paying no heed to the Punjab government’s request to set up a central industrial project in Gurdaspur constituency, from where he is seeking re-election.

“Growing unemployment is going to be one of the biggest issues in the general elections as the youth have failed to get jobs as promised by the BJP government,” said Jakhar, who was renominated by the Congress from the Gurdaspur parliamentary seat.

“We have been demanding a central industrial project in Gurdaspur constituency to generate employment opportunities for our youth. We have earmarked 1,200 acres of land in Kalanaur (in Gurdaspur district),” he added.

“We had even written to Modi government to give us one big project but nothing has happened,” Jakhar said further.

Jakhar had wrested the Gurdaspur seat from the saffron party after defeating Swaran Salaraia in the 2017 by-election which was necessitated following the death of BJP MP Vinod Khanna.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has yet to announce its candidate from the seat. Jakhar further claimed that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation had severely hit the trader community especially in the state.

“Trading community in Batala, Pathankot and Gurdaspur were severely hit because of demonetisation and GST imposed by the Modi government at the Centre, he said. He said claims of development made by the saffron party were a “bundle of lies”.

Hailing the Congress-led Punjab government for its efforts in creating employment opportunities, Jakhar said the setting up of a multi-crore integrated beverage plant in Pathankot will turn out be the stepping stone for the region’s development.

He further said that he would make efforts to ensure regular rail connectivity between Chandigarh and Pathankot.

“A lot of businessmen in Pathankot require daily trains between Chandigarh and Pathankot and it will be my one of my priorities,” said Jakhar.

“We will also work for the revival of industries in Batala and enhancing the capacity of the Batala sugarmill,” he added.

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