People’s Party of Punjab chief Manpreet Singh Badal on Wednesday said the Narendra Modi government had dealt the biggest blow to this state by putting a final seal on the rejection of the much needed special financial package to rejuvenate its economy. The hopes had been dashed by the very government in which the Akali Dal was a partner with Harsimrat Kaur Badal, daughter-in-law of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, being the food processing minister.
He called upon Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to come out with their frank opinion on the views expressed by Union minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha here on Tuesday that Punjab was on the path of prosperity and hence there was no need for package.
“The increasing incidence of farmers’ suicide ridicules the prosperity perception. The debt burden is staggering and it is going up every day. I had to pay the price for taking up this issue effectively and forcefully with the centre as a finance minister way back in 2008. Now Punjab is not even included in the list of debt stressed state, such is the ‘preferential’ treatment that is meted out to the Badal government by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said the former finance minister.
He said there was not a single indicator suggesting revival of economy, both urban as well as rural. Even the central assistance to Punjab had been curtailed under the new formula. Despite so much hype created about capital inflow, no new industry had materialised. Both father and son duo had been proclaiming from the house tops that the situation would change for the better once the BJP came into power at the centre.
Manpreet said what was surprising that Badal had been all praise for Modi just two days back despite the fact not a single decision had been taken by the centre favouring Punjab except inducting Harsimrat at the cabinet minister.
He made it clear the basic issue was not that of the BJP being biased or not against Punjab but the future of this state as the rulers had failed to look beyond their own business interests rather than of the state.