Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has said that the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi 'had found it difficult to meet expectations' of the country during its first year in power.
The Bathinda MP, in town to launch three Central schemes --- life insurance, accident insurance and guaranteed pension after 60 ---- in the presence of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday, said, "The government treasury was empty when we assumed power and in addition the country was under debt. The expectations were huge. I can understand that the pace of development has not been in sync with the expectations from our government. We had our compulsions, but we did well."
She added, "So many schemes were introduced by the union government in a short span of time. Punjab got the attention it deserved with many prime institutes announced for the state in the budget. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government did not have 10 good points to list in its 10-year-rule. For the Modi government, we have a long list of achievements."
The chief minister and Harsimrat's father-in-law demanded that the centre must introduce crop insurance for farmers.
"After I insisted, Prime Minister Modi increased the compensation to farmers for crop damage due to untimely rain. It is still not enough. A farmer must get an amount equivalent to the loss suffered to the crop. This is the solution," Badal said.
Referring to 'their' employees, Harsimrat said, "I have told deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal to get all our employees insured under the scheme launched today, for 10 years at a go. When God has given us everything, there is no reason we cannot this," said Harsimrat.
Interestingly, the organisers had planned that the gathering would be asked to witness a live speech from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, the majority of the people in attendance left as soon as Harsimrat and the CM finished their speeches.
'Didn't know Orbit bus was involved in Moga case'
Clarifying her initial denial that she had no knowledge of the ownership of the bus involved in the Moga molestation and murder case, Harsimrat said, "I was in Delhi that morning and read in the papers that it was a private bus. Of course, I know that Orbit is owned by us. I would have no problem in admitting the fact, if I knew it at the time."
Badal refuses to comment on Ramdev
On Yoga guru Ramdev's statement that 80% of Punjabi youth have fallen prey to the drug menace, chief minister Badal refused to comment saying that Ramdev was a 'Swami'.
"I do not know the source of such figures. This is propaganda to malign Punjab's image. We have been taking successful corrective steps," said Badal.
BJP missing from function
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) went unrepresented at Saturday's function, even as it has been claiming credit for the schemes launched by Harsimrat across the country. It was not for the first time that the party chose to give an event addressed by Harsimrat in Bathinda a miss.
The expectations from the Centre were huge. I can understand that the pace of development has not been in sync with the expectations from our government. We had our compulsions, but we did well.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Bathinda MP