The opposition Congress in Punjab on Wednesday accused the state government of splurging public money and misusing official machinery on a December 8 rally to coincide with the 89th birthday of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.The Congress state unit said in a statement that the government was spending crores of rupees on the proposed rally while beneficiaries of its much-touted 'Atta-Dal scheme' were still waiting for their quota of rations for the last eight months.Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal said the 'Paani Bachao-Punjab Bachao' (Save water, save Punjab) rally at Killi Chahlan village in Moga district on Thursday will be a watershed in the fight for the rights of Punjab.
The Akali Dal has already resolved that "Punjab doesn't have even a single drop to spare for any other state and it will not share it at any cost", Sukhbir Badal said in Jalalabad town, 285 km from here.Quoting media reports, the Congress said over one crore intended beneficiaries of the scheme will not get their eight-month quota of subsidised pulses as the Badal government had failed to provide funds."While the common people, already reeling under a mega cash crisis after demonetisation, continue to wait endlessly for basic essentials such as dal (pulses) and atta (flour), the Akali government has opened its coffers for Parkash Singh Badal's birthday celebrations on December 8," the Congress said."Exorbitant expenditure has been incurred by the government on massive hoardings, advertisements and other publicity material, as well as arrangements at the rally venue, in gross violation of all norms and in brazen misuse of official machinery and public funds by the Badals in their last few days in office. This is plunging the state towards inevitable bankruptcy," the statement said.