Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday ridiculed Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for questioning then Congress government’s (2002-07) achievements, asking him (Sukhbir) to list if he had any achievement except for pushing the state into bankruptcy and drug addiction.
On Sukhbir’s challenge to the Congress during the recent budget session to list its achievements, Amarinder said he had earlier also provided him (Sukhbir) with scores of these and he was listing these again as a reminder. “And in case you also have any achievement other than pushing the state into drug addiction and financial bankruptcy, please let me know,” he asked Sukhbir.
The former chief minister said one of the important achievements of his government was to generate a revenue surplus of more than Rs 2,000 crore in 2006-07, which was for the first and last time in the state during the past 30 years. He said once he demitted office, the state was again pushed into revenue deficit, which was most likely to cross Rs 8,000 crore by the end of the current fiscal.
Amarinder reminded Sukhbir that it was his government that had enacted the Punjab Termination of Water Sharing Agreements 2005; ensured hassle-free procurement of foodgrains; introduced Bt cotton; set up the Punjab Farmers’ Commission; brought in many private players to encourage diversification; and introduced the farm-to-fork concept. “Tell me, what have you done on the agriculture front?” he asked Sukhbir.
The Captain said his government had sanctioned 367 mega projects with an estimated investment of more than Rs 1 lakh crore with job prospects for more than 13 lakh people.
On the power front, he said his government ensured regular and uninterrupted power supply for eight hours to farmers and decided to commission the Lehra Mohabbat plant Stage 3 to get 500 MW power, which stood commissioned now.
It was during his government that the 168-MW Shahpur Kandi project was started and for this the entire budget had been provided for by the central government, Amarinder added. He said the implementation agreement was signed for the 500-MW power plant at Goindwal Sahib.
The former CM reminded the deputy CM that he (Sukhbir) had promised to generate surplus power by 2010, but Punjab was still plunged in darkness.