Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday blamed chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for the finance commission's refusal to provide debt relief to Punjab despite the state having been identified as a debt-stressed by the commission along with Kerala and West Bengal.
"The Akalis ransacked the Punjab's economy to the brink of bankruptcy and then they failed to plead their case on merit by banking more on goodwill than on facts, thus resulting in outright rejection for debt relief," said Amarinder.
He said: "Economic decisions are not guided by any preferences or prejudices as Badal will try to make us believe, but purely on economic and financial merit."
In a statement issued here today Amarinder said Badal had always tried to politicise everything and in the same way, he had been accusing the previous Congress-led UPA government of discriminating against Punjab. "Now, let Badal explain to the people of Punjab why he failed to get a debt relief package for the state despite a friendly government at the Centre?" he questioned.
"Badal would have done better if he had properly pleaded the case with the Centre instead of politicising the issue and merely banking upon the self-proclaimed goodwill of the Union finance minister," said Amarinder.
"If the Opposition-ruled states like Kerala and West Bengal could get debt relief from the Centre, why the Akali-BJP ruled Punjab failed to get it?" he asked.
Amarinder said the Congress-led UPA government had identified Punjab, Kerala and West Bengal as debt-stressed states. He regretted that while Kerala and West Bengal were getting relief, Punjab missed the bus as the state apparently failed to convince the Centre.