Slamming state Congress chief Amarinder Singh for “misleading” the people on the debt waiver issue, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday alleged that the announcement made by the former chief minister was nothing more than a “bundle of lies”.
Addressing a Sangat Darshan gathering at Amargarh Assembly segment here, he claimed that the state Congress leadership was lying about the debt waiver as it was not within the ambit of the state government’s powers, adding that “entire Punjab” was aware of Amarinder’s “anti-farmer” stance.
“During his tenure as chief minister, Captain (Amarinder) had imposed a power tariff on farmers which was waived off during the SAD-BJP rule,” Badal said.
Amarinder had recently accused the ruling combine in Punjab of waiving loans of the rich and assured that Congress would waive farmers’ loans after coming to power in the state. Assembly election in Punjab is due next year.
Badal squarely blamed the “regressive policies” of successive Congress governments at the Centre for agriculture not being a “profitable venture anymore” in Punjab and the plight of the state’s farmers.
He said the farmers were facing an “acute agrarian crisis” due to the “ever escalating” cost of farm inputs, coupled with the “non-remunerative” Minimum Support Price (MSP).
He claimed that the net result of these policies of Congress was that the hard working and resilient farmers of the state were reeling under a whopping debt burden.
Terming Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders “rumour mongers”, the chief minister described them as “good for nothing” as they were “not even aware of the basic topography of Punjab”.
He alleged that it was a “well known fact” that the AAP government in Delhi had “ditched” the people by “not honouring even a single promise” made to them.
Badal claimed that acts such as superimposing its poll symbol (broom) on the party manifesto with the photo of Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple), equating the manifesto with sacred texts etc. had proved that the AAP leadership had “scant respect for our religious feelings”.
“These acts were inhuman and against the mankind,” he said.
Coming down heavily on the recently launched fourth front in the state, led by cricketer-turned-politician and former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, the chief minister described it as “a bunch of fugitives and opportunists who have joined hands to satiate their lust for power”.
He alleged that these leaders were “bereft of any ideological commitment” and were “not sincere to Punjab and its people”.
Badal reiterated that those “not loyal to their parties” could never be “sincere with the state”.