State finance minister Parminder Dhindsa on Friday slammed his cabinet colleague and industries minister Madan Mohan Mittal for his comments over the special package issue.
Mittal on Thursday had told HT that Punjab had failed to get assistance as the state finance minister had failed to plead its case at the Centre properly.
Reacting to Mittal’s charges, Dhindsa told HT that the industries minister was ill-informed about the issue, and the state BJP leaders, by issuing such statements, were only diverting from the issue.
“I am amazed that as a cabinet minister, Mittal saab is not aware of the facts. Actually, the case to get the special package was first put forward before union finance minister Arun Jaitley by the chief minister himself immediately after the new government took over at the Centre. As finance minister I only followed it up when I met Jaitley on four occasions, including two informal ones,” Dhindsa said, adding that he was surprised that the industries minister was issuing such “baseless” statements.
The finance minister said the chief minister had met Jaitley and written a letter to him for sanctioning the special package citing genuine reasons.
“Mittal saab’s statement that I failed to plead the case properly seems absurd. Jaitelyji contested from Punjab and is aware of our issues. As far as I know him, he is a thorough gentleman and an intellectual, who is aware of the ground realities. As finance minister I need not explain why we have been demanding the package. Mittalji must know that such cases are not argued like ordinary court cases,” Dhindsa said.
‘State BJP leaders trying to deflect issue’
The SAD minister said the state BJP leaders were trying to divert from the issue. Dhindsa said, “If we have failed to get the special package, the BJP is equally responsible for it as we have a coalition government in the state. Let me remind it that ours is not a pure SAD government.
Whatever good or bad happens, the BJP is equally responsible for it. They cannot run away from the issue.”
He said the BJP has their government at the Centre, so why didn’t they try to get the special package. He said Punjab would again put forward its case to the Finance Commission.