BJP leader Manjinder Sirsa on Thursday targeted AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal after Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann sought Rs 1 lakh crore financial package from the Centre, saying the party was seeking money for the freebies it announced at the time of state polls.
Mann has sought the special package for the revival of the state’s economy and ensuring its holistic development during his first meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after assuming charge.
“Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party’s convener Arvind Kejriwal’s lies have been exposed by the demand of Rs 1 lakh crore by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his meeting today,” Mr Sirsa said in a statement.
Mr Sirsa alleged that Kejriwal always resorts to lies for seeking votes from people and he did same in Punjab during last month’s elections.
“Kejriwal announced a host of guarantees for providing free power, Rs 1,000 per month to women and others and when he was questioned on how will they manage finances, he replied that they will save money from sand mining, excise policy and by stopping corruption,” said Mr Sirsa.
Only a week has passed since the formation of AAP government in Punjab and the chief minister has already approached the prime minister seeking Rs 1 lakh crore “to provide these freebies announced by his mentor Arvind Kejriwal”.
The BJP leader said Punjab has a debt burden of Rs 3 lakh crore. This fact was known to everyone, including Kejriwal, and still he made the announcements regarding various freebies which will only push the state deeper into debt.
As chief minister, Mann has every right to make demands from the prime minister “but demand to provide money for fulfilling promises made by them to Punjabis is totally unjustified”.
“This trend of making announcements and then approaching the central government for money can prove to be disastrous for a nation as more and more leaders like Kejriwal will do same.
“Now, when Himachal Pradesh is going to have elections in a few months, Kejriwal is headed to hill state where he will repeat same (promises) which he has done in Punjab,” he said.
During his meeting with the prime minister, Mr Mann apprised him about the poor fiscal health of the state and said the previous governments have left a whopping burden of Rs 3 lakh crore.
An official statement from the Punjab government said Mann sought immediate financial package of Rs 50,000 crore each for two years to put the derailed economy back on the rails.
He hoped that with this financial help, the state’s economy would become self-sustainable and economically viable during the third year.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)