Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has cornered Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann over the government loan row. Sidhu has said that Punjab will become poor in the next 10 years. According to Sidhu, the Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab has taken a loan of Rs 50,000 crore during its tenure so far. He said that by the time the next budget is presented, Punjabis will incur a debt of Rs 70,000 crore.
The Governor had written a letter to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann regarding Punjab’s Rural Development Fund (RDF) and raised some questions. Sidhu has shared a video regarding this letter on X (earlier Twitter) with the caption ‘My opinion on the Governor’s questions on the accountability of the Chief Minister in the state’.
Navjot Singh Sidhu said in this:
“The Governor has given a precise reply to the Chief Minister. Why doesn’t the Chief Minister tell where the RDF money was spent?”
Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has taken charge of Punjab Congress, has said that Punjab Governor Banwari Lal Purohit has asked some important questions to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. All these questions are very important for the coming generation of Punjab. Sindhu alleged that Bhagwant Mann was running away from all these questions even before and is running away even today.
Navjot Singh Sidhu alleged that a mafia was working through a system in Punjab. AAP (AAP) had come to end the mafia and said that a new system had to be created, but the same AAP which wanted to change the system, is today the manager-in-chief of the same system. During this, he raised sharp questions on the loan taken by the AAP government of Punjab.
‘Even if Punjab gets ruined’
Congress leader Sidhu launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and said that his policy is that even if Punjab gets ruined, the vote bank policy should remain strong. Sidhu said that the CAG report says that Punjab will go bankrupt in the next 5-10 years and there is no way out.
Sidhu said the state’s debt-to-GDP ratio is close to 50 per cent, which is much higher than the national average. The state’s debt is now at unsustainable levels. He said that the Governor of Punjab has clarified in the letter written to the Chief Minister that there is an increase of Rs 50,000 crore in the loan taken in 1 year and 6 months of the present Bhagwant Mann government.
Sidhu further said that by next March it will increase to Rs 70,000 crore whereas the Akali Dal government took a loan of Rs 1.5 lakh crore in its 10 years of government. While Congress took a loan of Rs 1 lakh crore in its 5-year government, AAP’s Bhagwant Mann government is riding on a ‘Ferrari’ in terms of taking loans.
My Take On The Governor’s Questions Of Accountability To The Chief Minister @BhagwantMann https://t.co/q4tba2IfPA
— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) September 24, 2023
Sidhu further said that there is no man in Punjab and there is no opportunity here. According to him, people who are sitting abroad send 200-300 dollars to their families in Punjab and the work is going on with that, but a sword is being hung on them too. Sidhu said that if the situation continues like this, in the future not only the grandchildren but even the elders will sell their land and move out of Punjab.
My Take On The Governor’s Questions Of Accountability To The Chief Minister @BhagwantMann
1.Punjab is facing a serious debt crisis. The state’s debt-to-GDP ratio is nearing 50%, which is much higher than the national average. The state’s debt is now at an unsustainable level,…
— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) September 24, 2023
‘Only the mafia is flourishing’
Congress leader Sidhu said that Bhagwant Mann’s government cannot silence his voice… even if it puts him in jail. Giving the title of ‘Hawaii Chief Minister’ to Bhagwant Mann, he said that today a goonda tax of Rs 5000 to 7000 is being collected from sand trucks. All this is not going into the government treasury but into the pockets of these AAP leaders.
He further said that mafia is flourishing in Punjab. No action was taken on more than 25,000 acres of land illegally occupied by big people around Chandigarh. No white paper on PSPCL, no excise commission, no mining policy.
Congress leader Sidhu said that those who had promised to increase revenue through excise duty policy and sand mining were themselves patronizing illegal withdrawal of funds through these sectors. He further said that L-1 (wholesale liquor licenses) were given only to a select few. Apart from this, large scale illegal mining under the patronage of the government is the real reason due to which the revenue loss in Punjab has exceeded expectations.
Questioning Sidhu, he said that the Chief Minister should answer on this:
“What is stopping them from taking action against the bigots who illegally occupy our land? Who is stopping them from simply ending the monopoly of the mafia?”
‘People in power are fooling the public’
Congress leader Sidhu said that the people in power are fooling the people with populist politics. In the debt trap into which the people of Punjab have been pushed, every Punjabi has a debt of about Rs 1 lakh 20 thousand and this figure is increasing every day.
Sidhu asked that when Punjab is trapped in debt, where is its revenue model? The Punjab government should make it clear whether the state will run on loans or income?
Making serious allegations, Sidhu said that people in power who patronize corruption take loans for expenditure while the revenue is being pocketed. He warned that continuation of this system would lead to a catastrophic situation. This is a matter of grave concern and the Chief Minister should answer these questions regarding the future and financial stability of Punjab?
Together on stage but there is a rift between AAP and Congress
In the recent meeting of the opposition INDI alliance, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and AAP founder Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal may have been seen on the same stage, raising the same slogan, but there is a rift between the two on the political ground. The friendly attitude of big leaders of Congress and AAP towards each other is visible only on the stage. The ground reality is this – Congressman Navjot Singh Sidhu is accusing AAP’s Bhagwant Mann government, calling it involved in corruption.