Congress, SAD spar over Punjab debt: It’s white paper vs white paper in assembly

Opposition SAD dubbed the government’s white paper a “white lie” and presented its own set of documents calling them “genuine white paper” and insisted it be allowed to be tabled.

punjab Updated: Jun 20, 2017 10:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab debt,state debt,Manpreet Badal
SAD leaders led by party chief Suikhbir Badal walk out of the House on Monday.(Keshav Singh/HT)

The Punjab assembly saw a battle of white papers on Monday with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) presenting its own “genuine super white paper” to pat own back for “tremendous achievements” during its decade-long rule.

Accusing the Congress of working relentlessly to present a gloomy picture of the state’s finances, the opposition party’s white paper said the government’s sole aim was to discredit their achievements and to wriggle out of the false promises made by them in their election manifesto.

“The paper has been brought out to project the true picture of state’s fiscal position,” it noted before dwelling on the previous government’s prudent financial management, increase in revenue receipts, gross state domestic product and increase in debt.

The white paper, prepared under the supervision of SAD chief and former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, was presented by former finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, but not without ruckus. Responding to the Congress government’s two white papers, Dhindsa got up to present his party’s document, saying that the ones tabled by the finance minister are “one-sided”.

When no one came forward to collect the paper, he himself went and placed it on the assembly reporters’ table even as the ruling party members raised objections. But just then local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu took a dig. “Super white is chitta (heroin).

That’s what destroyed the youth of Punjab during their 10-year rule,” he remarked, triggering loud protests by Akali MLAs. Both sides kept shouting at each other, prompting the speaker to adjourn the House for 30 minutes.

First Published: Jun 19, 2017 19:23 IST