Alleging that a "mining mafia" in Punjab was extorting money from owners of stone crushing units, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal today vowed to put an end to the menace "within 24 hours" if his party comes to power in the 2017 Assembly election.
"I am shocked to know that legal crusher owners have to pay 'goonda tax or jizya' to the mining mafia in Punjab. I vow that within 24 hours of AAP's coming into power, this will be curbed in the state," Kejriwal, who is on a five-day tour of Punjab to reach out to voters ahead of the Assembly elections, said at a rally here.
Members of the business community, incuding owners of crushing units, today met Kejriwal and alleged that no action was being taken against the extortionists. They also claimed that false cases were being registered against them.
Kejriwal said once voted to power, AAP would set up a commission to review such cases and take action against officials who had lodged them.
Reacting to reports of a large number of posters which had sprung up in Jalandhar questioning his governance record, the Delhi CM hit out at the Akali Dal saying they had ruined the state during their 10-year rule.
"People know who has ruined his state for about 10 years and who is a failed CM," he said.
Kejriwal also claimed that no government could have achieved in 65 years what his government had accomplished in one year in Delhi.
"What we have done in our one year rule in Delhi, I challenge that no state government could have done in the last 65 years. I am confident if Delhi goes to polls today, other parties will not be able to win even a single seat," he said.
He also met people from different walks of life, including industrialists, advocates, shopkeepers and members of the Christian community.
Earlier, BJP workers led by district president Suresh Bhatia and and Municipal Council president Naresh Mahajan, tried to gherao Kejriwal at Gandhi Chowk here, but were stopped by police who resorted to mild lathicharge, in which one person was injured.
Around 80 protesters were detained later released after the Delhi Chief Minister left, police said.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal visited the Golden Temple and Durgiana Mandir in Amritsar.
Talking to media in Amritsar last night, he said he met various associations of traders who were not "happy" with the ruling government in Punjab because of "rampant corruption" in government departments. Moreover the state government had failed to "support" traders, he alleged.