Congress legislator from Faridkot Kushaldeep Singh Kiki on Tuesday hit out at Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal for “complaining” to the Union government over utilisation of MGNREGA funds in the district. “Badal was hell bent on causing loss of central grants to Punjab just for political reasons,” he claimed.
Referring to an order by Ministry of Rural Development to probe alleged irregularities in utilisation of MGNREGA funds, Kiki said that the document clearly says that the inquiry had been ordered after a letter was received from Badal.
“Sukhbir is a MP from Ferozepur. It is strange that he is complaining about misuse of MGNREGA funds in Faridkot. It only shows their anxiety as we have done a lot of work in our villages. People voted for us on this development work. The SAD lost 60,000 votes in just three Assembly segments during Lok Sabha election. Now they want to ensure that the Centre does not release the state any money,” said Kiki.
He further said that they were ready for any inquiry: “One can go to any village and see the development. The only issue is that as an inquiry would be taking place, the pending grants would be delayed and the work would be affected. Also, the poor would not be able to get employment under MGNREGA.”
He claimed that Sukhbir had several personal reasons to get back at him.
Kiki was considered a close aide of former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who would often stay at his house in Faridkot. He then quit SAD to join Manpreet Badal’s PPP and later Congress. Now he is considered close to Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh.
Punjab Rural Development Minister Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa had also accused Sukhbir Badal of “sabotage” regarding the same issue on Monday.