Congress under fire from Bhattal | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Congress under fire from Bhattal

punjab Updated: Sep 16, 2012 21:15 IST
HT Correspondent

Already under attack from the opposition as well as some alliance partners over the diesel price hike, the Congress has now drawn flak from party leader and former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

"The price hike is unfortunate and the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre should roll it back immediately," Bhattal said here on Sunday. "If the government needs more funds for development, it should look for alternative sources; common man should not be made to suffer."

Even on the decision of allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail sector, Bhattal expressed her displeasure and added that if it was imminent, steps should be taken to safeguard the interests of small retailers.

"If the logic is to attract foreign investment, the government should also not forget to take care of small traders," she said.

Bhattal suggested that the state government reduce the value added tax (VAT) on petroleum products to provide people some relief from the price rise.

The former chief minister questioned the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Capt Amarinder Singh's efforts to seek political cooperation from the People's Party of Punjab (PPP) and Left parties.

"Such efforts are ill-timed and desperate and virtually humiliate the party cadre," she said. "If cooperation had been sought before the assembly elections, it could have yielded results. Sab kuch luta ke hosh mein aye toh kya aye (What is the use of coming to the senses after losing everything)?"

Bhattal said the Capt should have consulted the PPCC executive, which includes union ministers and members of Parliament, before taking such decisions.

Asked whether the Capt should continue as the state party chief, Bhattal was diplomatic: "He should get a chance at least till the 2014 general elections to show his political skills and capability."