Hitting back at deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, union information and broadcasting minister and Ludhiana member of Parliament (MP) Manish Tewari on Sunday ridiculed his charges that he was impeding the development works in the city.
“It's a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Does this mean your government has lost all authority and is feeling so helpless in front of an MP, who according to you is impeding all development works in this city governed by you,” the union minister questioned Sukhbir.
While taunting Sukhbir, Tewari remarked, “If it so, you should better quit than plead helplessness in front of an MP.”
The union minister asked Sukhbir to point out one single central project which had not been completed or was not in the process of completion. “Let me reiterate - the delay, if any anywhere, is absolutely because of the non-cooperative and indifferent attitude of the state government,” Tewari claimed.
Giving details, he reminded Sukhbir that it was the central government which provided one time Rs. 100-crore grant for the financially ailing Punjab Agricultural University, Rs. 60 crores for the cleaning of Buddha Nullah, which the state government misappropriated and was yet to furnish account of the money.
“Who resumed daily flights between Ludhiana and Delhi for which Sukhbir tried to steal the credit by gate crashing into the first flight without having any contribution in resuming the flights? Who started Ludhiana Shatabdi train and set up the passport office, and gave Rs. 100 crore under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for city buses? Was it your government?” he questioned.
“I have listed some of the projects I brought and executed in the city, now you list yours during the past seven years,” Tewari dared Sukhbir, while drawing attention towards the irresponsible and insensitive profligacy of the state government when it did not have money even to pay salaries and pensions.
He pointed out, “While 20 lakh pensioners are awaiting pensions in the state, the Badals shopped for a helicopter and aeroplane worth about Rs. 110 crore from the state funds for their personal use.”