The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) has announced that it will oppose SAD-BJP government's decision on the imposition of property tax on the floor of the Punjab assembly during the upcoming budget session.
PPCC vice-president Chaudhary Jagjit Singh and former minister Amarjit Singh Samra said that the state government had gone bankrupt over due to its wrong policies, as evident from its failure to pay salaries to the government employees and pensions to retired employees.
"The plan to fill empty coffers by imposing property tax in urban areas will be opposed tooth and nail during the coming session. Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has made a statement and has denied any shortage of funds to pay the salaries, then what's the need to impose property tax that too from the retrospective effect?," questioned Singh, a former minister, adding that the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) would oppose the new tax during the session.
"The CLP leader Sunil Jakhar was duly apprised of the issue and the government will be cornered on this anti-people move. It is astonishing that the BJP, claiming to be champion of the urbanites, is supporting the move. The BJP owes an explanation to urban citizens in this regard," they added.
They demanded that the central government should impose financial emergency in the state, as the state government was critically short of funds.
The duo, who welcomed the high command's decision to appoint Gurdaspur MP Partap Singh Bajwa replacing Captain Amarinder Singh, maintained that the party would intensify its stir against the anti-people policies of the ruling combine under Bajwa's leadership. Interestingly, both the former ministers were Amarinder loyalists in the past.
The hurriedly convened press conference to welcome Bajwa's appointment as state party chief was being seen as an attempt to please the new boss. District Congress committee (urban) chief Arun Walia and local Congress leader Varinder Sharma were also present to express solidarity with the new PPCC chief.
Chaudhary Jagjit Singh also criticised the deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal on his alleged failure as home minister. "The law and order situation is pathetic in the state. The assault on a woman by the cops, the murder of the assistant sub inspector while trying to save her daughter from getting harassed by Akali goons and scores of other examples of illegal activities of Akalis are enough to prove that jungle raj prevails in the state and citizens are not safe," Singh added.