Lashing out at the opening of Sukhbir Singh Badal’s Sukhvilas just two months ahead of the polls, the Punjab Congress has accused the Badals of brazenly promoting their interests while deliberately allowing various important Bills and Ordinances to go to the Governor with serious lacunae, leading to their rejection and giving a lie to the doles being dished out by the Akali government to various sections of the people.It charged the Badals with misleading and befooling the people with false announcements, without having any intention of ensuring their implementation. The entire drama of announcing sops for the people was clearly aimed at wooing voters ahead of the Assembly elections, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) leaders Jagmohan Singh Kang, Balbir Singh Sidhu and Deepinder Singh Dhillon said.They demanded immediate imposition of the Code of Conduct by the Election Commission in the state to prevent the government from spreading such lies and disinformation and from continuing to abuse official machinery to promote Akali interests.The PPCC reaction came amid reports that Punjab Governor Vijayendrapal Singh Badnore had sent back to the state government the ordinance on regularization of 27,000 adhoc/contractual employees, even as a report said the Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort & Spa, in which Sukhbir and his wife have a majority stake, had opened for business.
In a statement, the PPCC leaders pointed out that the opening of Sukhvilas, which had been marred by several controversies since the project launch, showed blatant misuse of office by Sukhbir. After first having got the Mullanpur masterplan amended to name it New Chandigarh to help real estate giants Omaxe and DLF, and then getting a road constructed at government expense around Sukhvilas in Palanpur, Sukhbir had now gone ahead with the opening of the resorts in blatant disregard of all political norms.The PPCC leaders also cited the huge advertisements and publicity material, including hoardings etc, which the Akalis continue to release at government expense to boost their electoral prospects ahead of the polls.And while Sukhbir and his father, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, are busy promoting their personal interests, key Bills and Ordinances aimed at implementing the various doles and sops that the government has announced for various sections of the people are being not accepted, or returned, by the Governor, said the PPCC leaders.It is clear that all these announcements which the Badals claim to be making for the welfare of the people of Punjab are a mere eyewash, aimed at befooling the people of the poll-bound state, the PPCC leaders said.It cannot be a coincidence that, from the SYL de-acquisition Bill to the water cess Bill and now the regularisaiton Bill, the Badal government has failed to get the Governor’s assent on so most of its vital public announcements. Either the Badals did not take permission from their ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), before introducing the Ordinances/Bills or have deliberately kept them technically weak, the PPC leaders added.