Chandigarh: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday tore into the claims of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on development, saying that it was "shocking" that even drinking water was not availabile in many parts.
"It is really shocking that the basic amenity of life, availability of drinking water, is missing in the state," Kejriwal said as he arrived in Teja Rehula village of Punjab's Fazilka district on Friday.
An Aam Aadmi spokesman said that Kejriwal, who is the party's national convener, came to this village for a reality check of the state government's claim of "development", he found that several villages are still deprived of the safe drinking water and as a result, most of the families of the area were affected by the water-borne deceases.
Kejriwal, who arrived in Punjab on Thursday, is on a five-day political visit to the state ahead of the February 2017 assembly polls.
"At Teja Ruhela village, which coincidently falls under state Health Minister Surjit Jiyani ('s constituency), mothers were crying, not for flyovers, roads or any other development, but for drinking water as no state government so far, be it of SAD-BJP or Congress, ever gave any heed to their cry," the AAP spokesman said, adding that some children in the village had turned blind due to contaminated water.
Villagers told the AAP leaders that instead of ensuring safe drinking water for residents, government agencies had only put up warnings that the water was contaminated.
The village is located close to the India-Pakistan border. "If a state government fails to provide even drinking water to people, it has no moral right to continue in power," Kejriwal said.
"I assure you, once AAP is voted to power, within one month, we will ensure safe drinking water in all these villages," he said. "I have not seen such a bad situation in my entire life. Is this the development that Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal claims of?" said Kejriwal, who on Thursday had taken on the Punjab government for rising farmer suicides in the progressive agrarian state. (IANS)