Former finance minister of the state and Congress leader Surinder Singla has accused another former finance minister, Manpreet Singh Badal, for sparking the vicious circle of increasing debt on the state to meet everyday expenses.
"It was Manpreet Singh Badal who increased the state debt in the first go after becoming finance minister. He had the opportunity to stop it but he did nothing to revive the economy. As a result of his actions, the state is now in a serious financial crisis," alleged Singla.
When asked if the incumbent leadership of Akali Dal was responsible for the financial crisis, he said, "The incumbent leadership is also equally responsible and now, the state's financial condition has worsened to the level from where it is almost impossible to recover," said Singla.
Singla was elected as member of legislative assembly from Bathinda in 2002 and he was also in the running for a Congress ticket from Bathinda Lok Sabha constituency in 2014. His close supporters, Anil Bhola and others, had joined Shiromani Akali Dal in the presence of Sukhbir Singh Badal, after Congress announced Manpreet Singh Badal as its candidate from Bathinda.
"All those who had left the party will surely come back as they had nothing against the party. It was the Manpreet's candidature which forced many to leave the party before the lok sabha elections," he said.
The former finance minister said he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Bathinda should be included in the list of 100 smart cities. "Bathinda meets all the basic criteria to be included in the list of smart cities. It has great potential to be developed as a smart city," he added.
'Enough has been said on the leadership of Bajwa'
Expressing his resentment against Punjab Pardesh Congress President Partap Singh Bajwa, Singla said, "Enough has been said on the leadership qualities of Bajwa. Do not make me comment on that."
Single remained non committal on the question of his contesting from Bathinda (Urban) in the 2017 elections. However, Congress leader Tehal Singh Sandhu repeatedly said Singla would be the Congress candidate from Bathinda (Urban) in 2017.