Day after praise from Kejriwal, Sidhu hits out at AAP over poll sops

A day after Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal praised Navjot Singh Sidhu for ‘exposing’ the claims of the Charanjit Singh Channi government in state, the Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee chief attacked AAP over its sop announcements ahead of the Punjab Assembly polls.

Sidhu said true leaders do not give “lollipops” and instead focus on building the foundations of society and economy.

“Shortcuts and instant coffee are not viable for long term and such schemes get exposed these days. Be it populist measures or lollipops, what is more powerful than such sachems is a policy, which has budget allocation…If you give lollipop of 26 lakh jobs to people, what it means that if you pay Rs 30,000 per person then you need Rs 93,000 crore. Then for Rs 1,000 for every woman means Rs 12,000 crore more. Around Rs 3,600 crore is required for free power up to 2 KW. These three announcements (by Kejriwal) require Rs 1.10 lakh crore budget. The total budget of Punjab is only Rs 72,000 crore… The state is in debt and you have made an announcements of 1.10 lakh crores,” he said.

Spelling out his own vision for the state, Sidhu said: “Our Punjab model is about filling the coffers. I also praise him (Kejriwal) if he has done good work in Delhi. But Punjab and Delhi are totally different states. Delhi is self-dependent. Punjab has debt. Sidhu’s Punjab model will deposit Rs 30,000 crore into the Punjab’s coffers. Soon this model will be out. Kejriwal is saying that he will manage the funds from sand and transport. But both sectors can’t contribute more than Rs 3,000 crore.” On Kejriwal praising him for raising questions on his own government, Sidhu said, “I have not started raising questions today. I was asking questions from the previous man who had closed doors on me. Only Navjot Singh Sidhu has spoken from the first Cabinet meeting….I am not bothered by praise of criticism from anyone. I am only saying that there should be budgetary allocation.” On various announcements made by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi for different sections, Sidhu said, “Whatever our chief minister has said… the party will back him and stand by him.”

He said Channi has done in two months what former CM Amarinder Singh could not do in four-and-a-half years.

“His (Channi’s) intent is right,” the state Congress president said, adding that the chief minister has the party’s backing.

Sidhu was in Amritsar Wednesday to inaugurate development works of around Rs 24 crore in Amritsar East and Amritsar North Assembly constituencies. He promised more works of around Rs 300 crore in coming three months.

Later, in a series of tweets, Sidhu said people won’t “fall prey to populist schemes”.

He tweeted, “UPA govt formulated policies to transform India’s society & economy. Today Punjab needs policy based structural transformation of its economy. People won’t fall prey to populist schemes…True leaders will not give lollipops but will focus to build foundations of society and economy….Punjab model is only way forward.”

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