Capt hails Jaitley for calling Badals' bluff over central funds
Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh on Saturday hailed union finance minister Arun Jaitely for "calling the Badals' bluff" and "exposing their lies" that the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre in the past one decade had not provided any central grants to the state.
He asked chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to explain as to where did the money that Jaitley disclosed the state had received go.
Reacting to Jaitley's letter to the Punjab government, in which he has ruled out any special financial package to the state, Amarinder said the letter had exposed Badal's lies about his allegation of discrimination against Punjab by the former UPA government at the Centre.
Amarinder claimed that Punjab during the UPA government at the Centre and the Akali rule in Punjab had got the maximum money which the Badals had either misappropriated or squandered in an archaic and unplanned way in programmes like his favourite sangat darshan.
Amarinder told Badal, "The problem does not lie with the Centre or anywhere else, it lies in your head that has stopped thinking, if at all it ever thought about anything."
The former chief minister asserted that Badal owed an explanation to the people of Punjab as to why despite liberal grants from the Centre the state's economy went from bad to worse.
"This is not our charge, but the facts revealed by the union finance minister of a government of which your Akali Dal is part and about whom you used to gloat that once he became the finance minister he would send truckloads of money," he said.
Amarinder said while Jaitley had asked the state government now to set its financial house in order, he had been insisting on it for long.
"I have always told them that Jaitley does not have a magic wand that he will wave and your financial problems will be over," he said, while adding, "But all the time they befooled people claiming that once Jaitley became the finance minister, Punjab would be flush with funds."