Not only Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders but also those of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been finding it difficult to defend the 'achhe din' slogan given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the run-up to the recently-held 2014-parliamentary elections.
Known for spoiling serious questions with absurd answers and short-tempered Madan Mohan Mittal, Punjab industry minister and BJP leader, who was holding a press conference here, took a deep breath when journalists asked him if the amount of `400 per acre as drought compensation by the union government presents any glimpse of 'achhe din' for Punjabi farmers?
Breaking the silence that lasted for a few seconds, Mittal replied, "It is an issue of debate. I cannot debate with you at a press conference. Debate is not the decorum of any press conference." It was the only answer Mittal had to defend both 'achhe din' slogan and `400 per acre compensation.
Earlier, Mittal had said that he was satisfied with the kind of response the state government was getting form the central government on different matters.
When asked how the Modi government can stop the downfall of the industry? Mital blamed everything from terrorism to tax exemptions to hilly states for the sad plight of the industry in Punjab, but could not ensure if the newly-elected government at the Centre would come to the rescue of the industry in the state.
"We have written in detail to the central government and explained them the reasons why local industrialists are shifting to other states. We have also suggested them solutions," said Mittal.
When asked if the Guru Gobind Singh oil refinery has failed to meet the people's expectations in the region, the minister said, "I have heard that locals have made good money from the refinery."
Mittal seemed to be in a dilemma when asked why was the Haryana unit of BJP not supporting SAD views on the Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC) issue. First, he wanted to push the question under the carpet by saying that the Haryana unit should answer it.
But, when asked if the Punjab BJP unit affords to keep quite on the issue, Mittal said, "We want a strong SGPC. Split in SGPC will hurt the Sikh sentiments."
He claimed that there were no differences in the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab or anywhere else.