Chandigarh: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday ended a 100-km cycle rally to denounce the 'VIP culture' of the Punjab government.
The rally, which began on Sunday from Ludhiana, culminated in Chandigarh with party leaders calling for an immediate stop to the 'VIP culture' in the name of security.
"This cycle rally is to protest against the rampant VIP culture and the wastage of public money on VIPs," AAP leader and lawyer H.S. Phoolka said, addressing AAP volunteers here after the rally ended.
"The government has no money to pay the salaries to its employees but is spending lavishly on security and travel of ministers.
"The MLAs have doubled their salaries but the old-age pensions are still to be distributed to the people in need. The scholarships for differently-abled people have also not been paid," Phoolka added.
Phoolka, who himself pedalled with other AAP leaders and volunteers, said the cycle rally got overwhelming response from people along the route.
"We demand the implementation of the principle that the 'lowest employee should be paid first'. The ministers and their staff should be paid after everyone else in the department is paid," he said.
The AAP accused the Punjab government of having tried to stop Phoolka and the rallyists at Balaungi outside Mohali.
"The police gave flimsy excuses for stopping the cycle rally which were unacceptable to Phoolka and the sea of AAP volunteers," an AAP spokesman said.
Sucha Singh Chhotepur, the AAP state convener, welcomed the rally outside the court complex at Mohali.