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Badals ran govt as business in Punjab; Modi doing same at Centre : Jakhar

Badals ran govt as business in Punjab; Modi doing same at Centre : Jakhar

Batala, Oct 7 (UNI) Punjab Congress chief and party candidate for the Gurdaspur bypoll Sunil Jakhar on Saturday lambasted the Badals for running the government as a personal fiefdom, to fill their own coffers at the cost of the state exchequer, during their decade-long rule. At a meeting with Anaj Mandi Aartiya Association here, he said the Badals were never interested in the welfare of the state and had spent those 10 years promoting their business interests. They were only keen to make money out of their transport service, not caring about the losses incurred by Punjab Roadways in the process, said Mr Jakhar, citing an example of the business empires built by the Akali leaders. Blaming the ill-conceived policies of the erstwhile SAD-BJP government for the agrarian crisis and the spate of continuing farmer suicides in Punjab, Mr Jakhar said the Badal government had siphoned away Rs 3200 crore of the state’s money to the Centre to cover up their own frauds. The cash-crunched state government was now giving interest on the loan taken against this amount, and would eventually have to pay a whopping Rs 7000 crore to the Central government, he lamented, adding that the farmers of Punjab were paying the price for this. Pointing out that the Modi government at the Centre was also following anti-farmer and anti-poor policies, Mr Jakhar quipped that in a country where rulers become businessmen, the common people end up as beggars. Dubbing the Modi government as a government of industrialists and business houses, the PPCC chief said despite the declining global fuel prices, the cost of petrol and diesel in India was shooting through the roof because of the Centre’s anti-people philosophy. Traders and small businessmen were angry with the Modi government and the people of the country lived in a state of perpetual fear, Mr Jakhar observed, adding that even during the festive season of Diwali there was a pall of gloom everywhere. Every time Mr Modi comes out with his `mann ki baat’, people get scared, not knowing what bombshell he planned to throw now, said Mr Jakhar, referring to the Prime Minister’s live radio programme and his demonetisation announcement. The Congress alone could put a check on the country’s deteriorating situation, said the Punjab Congress president, assuring the people that the Capt Amarinder Singh led government in the state would put Punjab back on the path of development and progress in the remaining four and a half years of its rule. UNI DB SW 1657

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