Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Tuesday accused Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal of continuing to mislead the people by alleging discrimination by the previous UPA government.
Bajwa said Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had debunked this ‘malicious and mischievous’ campaign in his letter to the state government while rejecting the demand for a special financial package.
Reacting to the ‘propaganda’ by Badal on this ‘non-existent’ issue, Bajwa said Jaitley had mentioned in his letter that Punjab had been receiving financial assistance over and above its share under the UPA regime.
Bajwa stated that during the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Badal had not even raised the long-pending issue of 15,000 Punjabi farmers dislocated by the Gujarat government.
Meanwhile, former Punjab finance minister Lal Singh accused the Badal regime of misleading the Centre by demanding Rs 1.02 lakh crore debt waiver. “Punjab’s militancy-related debt, including the interest, had been waived in instalments by the central governments of Narasimha Rao, Inder Kumar Gujral and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. When Parkash Singh Badal came to power in 1997, the cumulative debt of Punjab was Rs 15,000 crore. There was no terrorism after that. When the Congress came to power in 2002, the debt was Rs 32,000 crore. In 2007, when the Akalis came to power again, the debt figure was Rs 48,000 crore. Now, it is Rs 1.13 lakh crore. Is it all militancy-related debt? The government is trying to hide its own profligacy by presenting bogus records,” Lal Singh said.