Daring Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh to list out five achievements of his 2002-2007 term as the chief minister, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday dismissed as “lies” the Congress’ promise to waive farm debt.
“I challenge Amarinder to list out five achievements of his tenure. The Punjab government is highlighting its nine-year achievements… Congress has nothing to say about its tenure. Is he ashamed of his five-year rule?” Sukhbir questioned in a news conference, slamming the state Congress chief’s kisan yatra as “jhoot yatra”.
The deputy CM said Amarinder was just travelling from one destination to another without meeting farmers during his yatra. “He chooses to reach his heaven before 6pm to enjoy his luxurious lifestyle. Is this kisan yatra?” Sukhbir asked.
Replying a query regarding Amarinder’s promise of waiving farm loans after assuming power, Sukhbir said it was an open secret that after coming to power in 2002, Amarinder imposed the decision to charge power bills on farmers.
“Now, the Congress is spreading lies that it will waive farmer loans. The Congress should begin the drive from Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka where it is in power,” he said.
Responding to a question about the state government closing Amritsar Improvement Trust-related corruption case against Amarinder, Sukhbir said: “I have not gone through the case because Vigilance Bureau is not with me. But I will look into what has happened.”
In a yet another veiled attack on Amarinder, who has said that upcoming assembly election will be his last contest, Sukhbir said: “This shows his hunger to gain power. Actually, a leader who wants to win by claiming that it is his last election should not be elected at all.”
Regarding state government agreeing to pay Rs 31,000 crore in 20 years to settle the foodgrain account dispute, he said the state government would soon come out with complete data of the issue.
“There is no foodgrain scam… the Union government has gone through accounts… this exercise has been going on for the past many years, even during Congress governments. The picture will be clear once the dispute and accounts are settled,” he said.
Sukhbir also inducted Kabir Das, former Congress general secretary and former deputy mayor of Patiala municipal corporation, into the Akali fold.