“Non-availability of cash is leading to frustration, thus defeating the purpose of demonetisation,” said Sukhbir Singh Badal, deputy chief minister of Punjab, here on Friday.
Sukhbir, who is president of the Shiromani Akali Dal that is partner of the BJP in the state and in the Union government, explained in response to a query: “Demonetisation (of the old notes of Rs 500 and 1,000) is a good step, but non-availability (of cash) is leading to frustration of residents. We have already taken up the issues and asked the Union government to ensure cash is made available. We have even requested to allow co-operative banks to disburse cash.”
He was speaking at the inauguration of the long-in-the-works Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at SAS Nagar. He also inaugurated a Transport Bhawan, Transport Safety Bhawan and Excise and Taxation Bhawan in the town.
Already on a project-opening and stone-laying spree ahead of the state elections due in barely a couple of months, Sukhbir said the foundation of the six-laning project for the Kharar-Ludhiana expressway and four-laning of the Rupnagar-Phagwara road would be laid on December 19. A four-lane elevated road from SAS Nagar to Kharar would be completed in a year and a half, he also promised, and further declared that the SAS Nagar road to Patiala via Sirhind would also be upgraded as a four-lane expressway.
Taking potshots at both the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), he said, “Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh is suddenly exhibiting love for Punjab and meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for issues concerning the state. Where was Captain earlier? He is doing all this with an eye on the elections... This posturing is nothing but a political stunt.”
On AAP boss and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, he described the AAP and Congress as “part of the same stock”. Turning around Kejriwal’s allegations, he said the two opposition parties have a “tacit understanding to contest the elections as a friendly match”.