'Won't quit politics till I ensure welfare to citizens'

'Won't quit politics till I ensure welfare to citizens'

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said he will not quit politics till he has ensured the welfare of every citizen of the state.

Addressing the Punjab Youth Congress' (PYC) newly elected office-bearers including its president Barinder Singh Dhillon here, Singh said that he will "continue to lead the state towards growth and development".

Scion of the erstwhile Patiala's royal family, Singh had earlier announced that the 2017 Assembly polls would be his last political battle. However, in 2018 Singh said that he would not hang up his boots until the state was taken out of the "mess".

The Congress had stormed to power in Punjab, under Singh's leadership, by winning 77 of the 117 seats and wrested power from the SAD-BJP combine in the 2017 polls.

"This is my state, you are all my people... I will always be here for you and will not go anywhere till I have ensured the welfare of every citizen, jobs for the youth and opportunities for all to grow in a progressive state," the 77-year-old senior leader said.

He assured the newly elected office bearers of his support in ensuring holistic development of the state.

The chief minister further exhorted the youth to come forward to protect and safeguard the nation and its Constitutional principles of democracy and secularism.

"The Congress was the only party that can provide secular, democratic rule," he said, describing the situation prevailing in the country today as "extremely distressing".

The Congress fought for India's independence and the Constitution was framed on the Preamble of a socialist secular democratic republic, he pointed out.

Although various Articles of the Constitution have since been amended but the Preamble has remained untouched, he added.

The Preamble cannot be allowed to be tinkered with, said Singh, lashing out at the alleged "current attempts" by the BJP government to "divide" the nation.

"What prevails today is not Lok Raj but goonda raj. We all know what happened with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Uttar Pradesh," he said, underlining the need for youth to take the lead in saving the country.

Referring to his government's development agenda for Punjab, the chief minister said he was thinking of ways and means to revive the state's economy.

He also accused the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) of "ruining the state to promote their self-interest".

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