Amritsar: Congress candidate from Amritsar Amarinder Singh today questioned the “silence” of his BJP rival Arun Jaitley on crucial issues concerning Punjab, saying he was trying to evade these issues deliberately.
Asking Jaitley to spell out his stand on the crucial Sutlej Yamuna Link canal, Singh said, “You just can’t evade the issue by saying it is sub-judice as people of Punjab would like to know yours and your party’s opinion about it.”
“We will also like to know about your stand on inter-linking of rivers in Punjab,” the Congress leader asked in a statement.
“We have had enough on developing Amritsar as a tourist centre, which for your kind information it already is, enough of developing it as a trade centre, generating employment and so on,” he said.
“In fact your colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu (present BJP sitting MP from Amritsar) knew it better but was not allowed to do anything,” he said.
Referring to generating employment, Amarinder said, “You probably don’t know that 18,700 industrial units shut down in Punjab during the last 7 years while you were in power in alliance with Akalis and will you please let us know whether you have some magic wand to waive it around and create investments and jobs.”
The former Chief Minister informed Jaitley that Punjab’s debt had already crossed Rs one lakh crore and it was continuously multiplying.
“Your government is taking loans to pay interest on this debt and now RBI has refused any further overdraft to the state resulting in delayed salaries and pensions by over three months,” he said.
“I hope you answer these questions rather than going on and on with the self-centred monologues that have become so characteristic of your style,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, he condemned the reported attack on the party’s rural district office headquarters here yesterday and warned against vitiating peaceful atmosphere.
“It was an act of sheer cowardice aimed at scaring our workers who bravely and courageously tried to confront the attackers who fled after firing the gunshots,” he said.