Leader of opposition Harpal Cheema along with other MLAs of AAP march towards Punjab Vidhan Sabha on the third day of the Budget session in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
Leader of opposition Harpal Cheema along with other MLAs of AAP march towards Punjab Vidhan Sabha on the third day of the Budget session in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

Oppn lambasts Capt govt on poll promises, treasury benches count ‘achievements’

During the debate on the governor’s address on the third day of the budget session, Akali MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu said the Congress government is charging 11 per unit of electricity against its promise of cheaper power at 5 per unit.
By Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 01:32 AM IST

The opposition — Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — on Wednesday cornered the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in Punjab for “failing to fulfil any of the promises” made to people ahead of the 2017 assembly polls in the last four years.

The treasury benches, however, claimed to have fulfilled all the promises, saying the Congress was headed for a victory repeat in the 2022 Punjab polls.

During the debate on the governor’s address on the third day of the budget session, Akali MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu said the Congress government is charging 11 per unit of electricity against its promise of cheaper power at 5 per unit.

“Even the poor, scheduled caste and backward class consumers are being forced to pay the high tariffs. The Congress will not be voted back to the power as it has deprived poor Dalit students of education. Many were denied their degrees since the 2018 session for not depositing fees as their scholarships funds were never paid to them,” added Tinu.

He accused state justice minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot of embezzling 56 crore from scholarship funds last year and was then being given a clean chit by the CM.

Without naming anyone, the MLA raised questions on the appointment of a principal adviser to the chief minister. “He accepted a monthly salary of 1 and has been given all the perks and facilities of a cabinet minister. It needs to be disclosed by the government as how many crores he will be getting under the table,” asked Tinu.

AAP legislator Meet Hayer demanded registration of a criminal case against the newly appointed principal adviser to CM, as he had showed big dreams ahead of the 2017 polls.

His party colleague Budh Ram raked the issue of sacrilege of the Sikh holy book in 2015, accusing the government of failing to take any action in this regard. “Punjabi University, Patiala, is under a loss of 400 crore and the teachers have not been given salaries for 3 months. Dearness allowance (DA) to the state government employees has not been paid,” he added.

SAD’s Sharanjeet Singh Dhillion accused the Capt government of playing fraud upon farmers of Punjab. “Against its promise to waive debt to the tune of 90,000 crore, only a small fragment of 4,625 crore (5%) was waived. The sewa kendras set up by the previous government were shut and 6,000 people were rendered jobless,” he said.

Defending the ruling party’s record, Congress MLA Tarsem Singh DC said the government has done its best to fulfill the promises made to people.

Also, party’s Navtej Singh Cheema wondered as why everyone was so scared of the new adviser (to CM). “We are going to pull out an impressive victory in the 2022 polls on the basis of our government’s good work,” he added.

Countering the AAP’s claims, health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said the government did its best to handle the coronavirus pandemic and its response was better than Delhi’s.

AAP’s Aman Arora said, “Before becoming MLA, I used to think that the governor’s address is a pious document and every word written in it is a truth. But I found that it has imaginary things mentioned which never happened on the ground.”

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