Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday said that once elected to power, the party will launch an investigation into the alleged Rs 1,000 crore MGNREGA scam under which Congress legislators “looted money meant for civil works in villages in connivance with sarpanches associated with them”.
Talking to mediapersons in Abohar, the SAD chief said “Congress legislators had lined their pockets by showing imaginary work done under MNREGA and had also misused the scheme to do civil works of a personal nature”. He said things had come to such a head that some legislators had “established their own interlocking tile factories”. “We will order an inquiry into all such cases of corruption immediately after coming to power in the state,” he added.
Sukhbir also said SAD would launch an agitation in case the Congress government does not release outstanding dues of Rs 284 crore to sugarcane growers. He said cooperative sugar mills owed farmers Rs 188 crore including Rs 107 crore dues of the 2019-20 crushing season and Rs 81 crore for the ongoing season. He said private sugar mills also owed farmers Rs 96 crore.
Sukhbir also demanded that the government revise the State Assured Price (SAP) of sugarcane with immediate effect for the current season. He said the state had not increased SAP of sugarcane for three years. “In Punjab sugarcane SAP is Rs 310 per quintal while in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh it is Rs 350 per quintal.”
The SAD president also condemned the state government for failing to provide compensation to people across 40 villages in Abohar and Balluana whose crops were damaged due to flooding during the last monsoon season. He alleged that the government had not paid compensation to people for crops which were damaged even a year back. He added that “similarly people were even being denied social welfare benefits under the old age pension scheme and the Shagun scheme”. “It seems there is no government in Punjab and no chief minister also,” he said, adding that the CM was not fulfilling any of the duties of his office.
‘Will not form alliance with BJP in state’
Sukhbir also clarified that SAD would not form an alliance with the BJP in the state. He also requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to understand the sentiments of the farmers of the country and repeal the three farm laws immediately.
The party president also handed over the ‘Vishesh Daani Sanman Pattar’ to all party workers from Balluana and Malout.