The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said the Congress government was again using lies and indulging in deceit to befool Punjabis after its non-performance and failure to implement any of its poll promises was exposed by a six month report card by the SAD.In a statement here, former minister and SAD spokesman Maheshinder Singh Grewal said chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh should understand that wishing away something could not take the issue out of public realm. "Nor will pompous feudal statements rejecting our charge sheet have any effect. You had an opportunity to set the record straight by disclosing what you had done. It is unfortunate that you tried to confuse Punjabis by claiming the farm loans had been waived. You however could not give the name of even one farmer whose loan had been waived off. The farmers have read your statement. They now know that a Maharaja also lies".Asking the chief minister not to run away from answering questions raised by the SAD, Mr Grewal said Capt Amarinder Singh should clearly tell whether old age pension had been released to beneficiaries after January 1 this year and whether any shagun had been disbursed after the Congress government took over the reins of the State. "Instead of replying to this the CM has chosen to brazen it out with false claims that social welfare promises have been fulfilled. Forget fulfilling promise to increase old age pension to Rs 2,500 and shagun scheme to Rs 51,000, you are not even disbursing money to beneficiaries under the old rates", he added.
The SAD spokesman said it was also condemnable that Capt Amarinder Singh had accused the SAD of undermining the confidence of the youth. "What could be more bizarre. The Congress promised ghar ghar naukari to the youth and then indulged in a fraud placement drive to befool them. The government has now even reneged on its promise of unemployment dole of Rs 2,500 per month to youth. It refuses to tell if it will give the promised smart phones to the youth or not. Who is undermining their confidence? You of us?", the Akali spokesman asked. Asking the government not to offer excuses for not fulfilling its promises, he said the State's financial health was known to the Congress party when it made its poll promises. He said if the Congress government was not being able to even pay salaries of its employees it was because of its own financial mismanagement. Mr Grewal said the manner in which the SAD-BJP government handled its finances was clear from the record development in the State during its tenure. "The government also reduced State debt vis a vis GSDP and also brought in financial prudence which was even appreciated by the finance commission. Loans were taken to build infrastructure which is visible to Punjabis and the government did not default even once in paying interest on the same".
Stating that the Congress government had failed to increase State revenue because all sources of revenue generation including excise collection from auctioning liquor vends had been given to the liquor mafia, Mr Grewal said during SAD- BJP rule State income from own revenue had increased by 57 per cent. "SAD-BJP tenure also witnessed a 44 per cent increase in GSDP. It spent Rs 37,623 crore on road infrastructure via a vis only Rs 3,277 crore spent by the Congress government. It spent Rs 26,098 crore on urban development vis a vis Rs 2,574 crore by the Congress earlier. Similarly the SAD-BJP spent Rs 2,803crore on rural water and sanitation compared to Rs 667 crore spent on this by the previous Congress government. These facts are in public domain. We are ready to debate them also. But first the Congress government must accept its failures and apologise to Punjabis for making false promises which they had no intention of fulfilling. EOM