Mohali, Apr 22: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today kickstarted its 'Bolda Punjab-Punjab Dialogue' initiative with a discussion engaging youths wherein unemployment, drugs menace, education, and women safety emerged as key issues.
On the lines of the 'Delhi Dialogue', AAP launched the Punjab edition to finalise its manifesto for the Assembly polls in the state slated for 2017.
Senior Journalist and Head of the 'Punjab Dialogue' Kanwar Sandhu joined by senior party leaders Ashish Khetan, Sanjay Singh, Sucha Singh Chhotepur, Bhagwant Mann and, Harjot Bains gave a patient hearing to the youths rather than addressing.
The youths raised the issue of registration of bogus cases against them, to which the AAP leaders promised, if voted to power, they would set up of a commission to review such cases and fix responsibility of "erring police officials".
When one of the youths complained of repeated assault on linemen, teachers, anganwari workers and others at SAD-BJP rallies, Sandhu assured all such cases will be reviewed and considered sympathically if AAP comes to power.
After listening to them, Sandhu and Khetan said health education, and unemployment will be focus area of their manifesto.
"Like Delhi, AAP will bring government schools in Punjab on par with the best in the private sector and new ones will be opened with the massive improvement in the existing ones," Khetan added.
On the drugs menace, he alleged that at present the police act against addicts while patronises the paddlers.
"Once AAP is voted to power, not only supply chain would be snapped by putting druglords in jail within three months, private and government hospitals would be roped in for rehabilitation of drug-addicts," he added.
On unemployment, Sandhu claimed no survey has been conducted since 1978 which has resulted in a huge gap between demands for jobs and creation of opportunities.
"There is no link between the industry and education, which ahs multiplied the problem," he said.
"Self-entrepreneurship will be emphasised upon by imparting special skill development training in ITIs," Khetan said, adding small scale industry would be upgraded to promote entrepreneurship.
On the pattern of Delhi, education loan would be provided at lower rates to students, Khetan said.
AAP leader Bhagwant Mann said the Badal government is patting its back on the massive increase in the Blue Cards holders for 'Atta-Dal' Scheme year by year but is ignoring the fact that the increase highlights its failures.
Over 800 youths from across colleges in the area attended the event which lasted for over three hours. Over 300 of them, including girls, gave their suggestions.