MOHALI, July 18: Congress Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha and former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder today strongly opposed the Akali-BJP government proposal to seek Rs 10,000 crores loan when the state was reeling under severe debt to the tune of Rs 1,25,000 crores.
Capt Amarinder also had at dig at Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for saying that he will be seeking ban on production of poppy husk in Madhya Pradesh, asking him, as who will ban the production of synthetic drugs in Punjab, where he is the Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister and drugs were being produced under his patronage.
Addressing a largely attended rally organised by senior party leader and local MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu here today, the former Chief Minister disclosed that the state government, with an eye on elections, was planning to get a loan of Rs 10,000 crores. He said, the money was proposed to be spent in the assembly segments purely for electoral purposes, which he will not allow. He also warned the officials against providing any guarantees as they will be held accountable later.
The veteran Congress leader lashed out at the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for his short sighted vision. He asked, why he could not think about development all these years and why was he now trying to deceive people.
He asked Sukhbir Badal as what happened to his claims before elections that Punjab will produce surplus electricity which will be exported to Pakistan. “Leave aside Pakistan, you have not been able to provide it to anybody at home; neither to the domestic consumers, nor the industry nor to the farmers”, he said, adding, even the power plants that had been set up in Punjab had no commitment of providing power to the state.
Earlier in a brief interaction with reporters before addressing the rally, Capt Amarinder ridiculed Sukhbir’s assertion of filing a Public Interest Litigation in Madhya Pradesh seeking ban on growing of poppy husk there. “Seeking ban on poppy husk there (MP) is a good thing, but who will ban the drugs which are being produced in Punjab under your nose and with your patronage”, he asked Sukhbir telling him to look within.
He said, during his tenure as Chief Minister he had strongly argued for national drug policy and that was the only solution to address the inter-state drug pedalling. “But Sukhbir needs to set his house in order as he cannot blame others when synthetic drugs were being produced under his nose and with his patronage”, he asserted.
The former Chief Minister spelt out his vision for Punjab. He said, although it will take years to retrieve and redeem Punjab from the sorry state of affairs the Akalis have pushed it into, but he will ensure that it is retrieved and redeemed. He referred to the poor education system in the state with 32 per cent students in government schools failing to qualify. He said, the poor need to be provided quality education like the children of rich so that they can qualify for good jobs. He also promised to unleash investment and industrialisation which will not only create jobs but generate revenue also for the state.
Former Minister of State for External Affairs Ms Preneet Kaur, former ministers Laal Singh, Jagmohan Singh Kang and MLAs Charanjit Channi and Balbir Sidhu also spoke on the occasion.
Among others present on the occasion include Ms Preneet Kaur, Laal Singh, Jagmohan Singh Kang, Rana Gurjeet Singh, Kewal Dhillon, Sukhjinder Randhawa, Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukh Sarkaria, OP Soni, Parminder Pinki, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Dr Raj Kumar Verka, Ajaib Singh Bhatti, Joginder Singh Panjgraian, Charanjit Channi, Harchand Kaur, Navtej Cheema, Rajneesh Babbi, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Aruna Chaudhary, Hardayal Kambhoj, Amrik Dhillon, Gurkirat Kotli, Guriqbal Kaur (all MLAs) Rana KP, Amarjit Samra, Harminder Jassi, Kikki Dhillon, Satnam Kainth, Chaudhary Jagjit, Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Bir Devinder Singh, Gurpreet Kangar, Harjinder Thekedar, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Makhan Singh, Nathu Ram, Madan Lal Jalapur (ex-MLAs), Raj Kumar Chabewal, Vikram Chaudhary, Harinder Bhambri, Pawan Dewan, Gurjeet Aujla, Sukhpal Bhullar, Satbir Singh, Kaka Lohgarh, Iqbal Grewal and others.