The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) has condemned the Akali government for asking panchayats to pay for its publicity boards.
Calling the move “anti-people” in a statement issued here on Monday, PPCC leaders Kewal Singh Dhillon, Ajaib S Bhatti, Navtej S Cheema and Sukhbinder Sarkaria said the Badal government has already pushed the state towards bankruptcy and is now resorting to such “cheap tactics” to finance its publicity campaign ahead of the assembly elections.
The Congress leaders said 1,300 panchayats in the state have been instructed to pay between `5,000 and `11,200 each for putting up the boards in their villages. They have been asked to deposit the money with their respective block development and panchayat officers.
“The cash-strapped panchayats, which barely have sufficient funds to conduct their flagship welfare programmes, are finding it difficult to follow the `sarkari’ diktat,” the PPCC leaders said. In some cases, panchayats have already put up boards showcasing the welfare programmes that the government wants to highlight, they said.
“The multi-crore foodgrain scam in which the Badal government is now embroiled has further downgraded the state’s credibility as a business and industrial destination,” said the Congress, while appealing to the voters to oust the Badal government so that the financial situation of the state could be revived before it’s too late..