With NDA elected to power at the Centre, Punjab Congress on Sunday demanded abolition of property tax in the state with immediate effect, as "promised" by the ruling SAD-BJP alliance during its Lok Sabha poll campaign.
Punjab Congress Vice President Brahm Mohindra termed as "dual standard" the decision of the Punjab government to extend the date of filing property tax to June 30.
"Rather than extending the date of filing property tax, SAD-BJP should abolish it with immediate effect," he said.
"You (SAD-BJP) had misled the public by saying that UPA government forced Punjab to impose property tax and also promised to abolish it if NDA formed government at the Centre.
Now, it is the SAD-BJP alliance which is in power at both state and Centre.
"Thus, the SAD-BJP either should scrap the property tax with immediate effect or tender apology to public for misleading them in the Lok Sabha campaign," he said.
Five-time MLA from Patiala, Mohindra asked SAD-BJP to scrap the property tax by issuing notification and Congress will support ruling alliance to pass the bill to abolish the property tax in the coming budget Session.
"If the SAD-BJP fail on it, the Congress will expose the double standard of ruling alliance in the public," he said.
Mohindra took a dig at the SAD-BJP leadership over the partnership in the NDA. "Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal instead of seeking ministerial berth in NDA cabinet, must bargain for economic package for the state, as promised in the Lok Sabha campaign of the SAD-BJP coalition," he added.
"I do hope that you will show some statesmanship and instead of making request for ministerial berth, you will ask for an economic package for Punjab to bail out state from debt," added Mohindra.
Meanwhile, another Punjab Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira demanded withdrawal of property tax in view of "Rs 100 crore loss to public exchequer" in its first year of recovery.
As per figures available, Rs. 210 crore has been recovered in the state as property tax up till March 31, 2014, which is Rs. 100 crore less than the routine house tax annual collection, he claimed.
"The drop of Rs. 100 crore in revenue through property tax compared to house tax, clearly indicates that it was an unwise, foolish and an unpopular decision of the Badal government," he said.