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Akalis caused the financial mess, alleges Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.   | Photo Credit: PTI

As the politics surrounding Punjab's worsening financial situation gained momentum after the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) demanded the resignation of the Finance Minister, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday came to the defence of his Cabinet colleague.

Terming the demand for Manpreet Badal’s resignation “ridiculous”, Capt. Amarinder Singh said it was the Akalis who were wholly and solely responsible for the financial crisis, which his government was striving hard to resolve.

“In 10 years of their rule, the Akalis messed with the State’s economy for their own vested interests,” said the Chief Minister, adding that his government, in his previous term, had left a robust economy, which the SAD-BJP regime ruined with their ill-conceived and anti-people policies. “All the money in the State’s coffers was wasted away by the Akalis and their allies, the BJP, during their decade-long misrule, with no positive measures taken to boost the economy,” he said here.

Capt. Amarinder alleged that industry and businesses were forced to flee the State as a result of their negative policies, which completely crushed investor sentiment, leading to a huge debt burden that his government was still struggling to alleviate.

“What’s more, just months before the 2017 Assembly elections, the then SAD-BJP government added a Rs 31000 crore loan burden on the State on account of food grain procurement for the central pool, which aggravated the fiscal crisis,” he said.

“It was shameful that instead of regretting their actions and apologising to the people for the same, the Akali leaders were now seeking to put the blame for the financial mess on my government and the Finance Minister,” said Capt. Amarinder.

The SAD had accused the ruling Congress of putting Punjab into a state of ''financial emergency'' due to the government’s failures on the tax collection front by poor governance. Stating that developmental works had come to the halt due to lack of tax generation across the State, Akali Dal leader and former Minister Bikram Singh Majithia had demanded Mr. Manpreet Badal to step down owning moral responsibility for his alleged failure to manage State's financial health.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 2:28:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/akalis-caused-the-financial-mess-alleges-amarinder/article30382270.ece

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