Parkash Singh Badal said here today that there was no reason for CM Captain Amarinder Singh to react so " peevishly" to the SAD-BJP asking him not to link the Congress poll promise of loan waiver with a central fiscal package for Punjab. " Where was the need to get so worked up? I have said categorically that I and my party and alliance partners support him in his demand for a package. All I said was that the promise of waiving farmers' loan, jobs to 30 lakh households, doubling pensions and more than trippling the shagun scheme amount etc should not be made dependent on Punjab getting this package. The two should be de-linked and the state government should immediately take a cabinet decision on loan waiver, filling of vacancies and other promises made by the Congress in its manifesto. They have all the information and detailed data they need on the problems and there is no reason for setting up committees to study the problems now.."
Badal said that he fully backs the Punjab CM in following the SAD-BJP's earlier demand for a central package for the state. We have been fighting for it since long. "But please don't misuse this sensitive issue to run away from your promises on loanwaiver etc."
"I also request all political parties and leaders, including those in the Congress, SAD-BJP, AAP and Insaf party to exercise restraint and decorum in the language they use in public domain. Sometimes, mere words create harsh misunderstandings and confrontation. Punjab cannot afford it and its people deserve better conduct from us, added Badal.
The former CM said that his party would not criticize the state government for the sake of criticism. "We will fully back all positive decisions of the government which benefit the people. But we will with equal intensity, force and vehemence oppose and fight the government's attempts to wriggle out of its commitments to the people. They must not expect us to keep quiet if they go back on their promises. As simple as that,"
He wondered if the reaction indeed was that of Captain Singh himself or of "someone more loyal than the King" on behalf of the CM. "This is the first statement since his taking oath which is out of step with the dignity of the office he holds. There was no reason for Captain Singh to get so worked up or be personal over my statement about the need to be sincere to promises made by the Congress to Punjabis. I insist that they should not make excuses for evading these commitments,." said Badal.
In a statement here, Sr Badal said, "There is no shift in our stand that Punjab should be given a major and liberal fiscal package. Punjab is sensitive border state with a long, active and hostile international border. We richly deserve a special package above any other state. "
He said that the financial burden on the state is a legacy not of successive state governments - Congress or SAD-BJP. This mess was created under the central rule in long years of governors rule during militancy in the state, It was not my fault fault and it is not the fault of Captain Amaridner Singh or any of the state governments. The fault lies with successive Congress governments at the center and their tragic mishandling of the Punjab situation "
Badal appreciated the statement of Captain Singh in which the latter had said that he was against the politics of confrontation and vendetta. " I sincerely welcome this gesture not only towards us but also towards other opposition outfitslike the AAP and Insaf Party. If the Chief Minister does not follow this constructive path and starts reacting recklessly like he did yesterday, then sooner or later, political atmosphere in the state is bound to get vitiated.I will personally play my role to ensure that sobriety, mutual respect and constructive cooperation among all the political parties guides our polity on common issues of the people. But and even greater responsibility rests with the CM as he has the mandate of the people to decide the future of course of Punjab polity."