Leader of Opposition in Vidhan Sabha Sunil Jakhar has demanded that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal share his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his visit to Punjab on Monday about releasing funds for the urban development amounting to Rs 1,200 crore sanctioned by the previous UPA government.
Jakhar, who claimed that the money was sanctioned for the development of various cities and towns of Punjab just before the Lok Sabha polls last year, was withheld after the NDA government took over at the Centre.
“The CM always said the Congress government at the Centre didn’t give Punjab its due. But will he be able to tell the public that when Rs 1,200 was sanctioned under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM on the intervention of PM Manmohan Singh Punjab was given special relaxation. The clause in the scheme that unless the recipient towns had an elected body, funds could not be released, was removed after Manmohan intervened,” Jakhar said at a press conference here.
While targeting the BJP, Jakhar said it would be interesting to see if the saffron party, which claims to be the biggest custodian of the rights of urban people, raised the issue with the Prime Minister.
“But I am sure that neither Badal nor the BJP had the courage to seek money from Modi. It would be interesting if the CM can apprise the PM that Punjab didn’t need smart cities at present but need our cities to be in livable conditions,” Jakhar said.
Showing a letter of the sanctioned amount, Jakhar claimed that from Rs 1,200 crore sanctioned for various cities, Rs 147.18 crore was sanctioned for Jalandhar, including Rs 80 crore for the city roads.
“However, the Congress party believes that even if the CM and the BJP leaders apprise the PM, the BJP government at the Centre would not release the sanctioned amount as it is bent on teaching a lesson to Akalis and the Punjab since the defeat of Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha polls in Amritsar,” Jakhar said.
The leaders of opposition also alleged that the state government was completely non-serious over replying to number of questions relating to the Public in Vidhan Sabha.