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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

BJP sharpens attack on AAP over rising debt in Punjab, says State economy is on ‘ventilator’

Sharpening its attack on the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab after Governor Banwarilal Purohit raised eyebrows over the amount of the State’s debt rising by around ₹50,000 crore during its little over a one-and-half-year regime, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday said that the State’s economy was “gasping for breath on a ventilator”.

In a statement, BJP National Spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said his repeated concerns have been proved correct with the government admitting to having taken a loan of close to ₹50,000 crore during its short tenure of just over one and half years. He said, “It would be an understatement to say that Punjab’s economy is in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) gasping for breath on a ventilator. It is the AAP government’s wrong policies and economic mismanagement that are squarely responsible for the prevailing scenario.”

Mr. Shergill, referring to the letter written by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to Punjab Governor, said, “In the letter, Mann had himself admitted that State’s financial position is strained. Furthermore, the details of the utilisation of loan mentioned in the letter clearly stated that the AAP government has contributed ₹47,107.6 crore to the State debt in the past one-and-a-half years.”

“This completely belies the claims of the Mann government that the State’s economy is in the pink of health. It rather establishes that the economy is in doldrums,” he added.

Mr. Shergill said that the Punjab government has also sought a moratorium of five years on repayment of debt, which clearly exposes the government’s claims that coffers are not empty. Asserting that the AAP government has no roadmap or blueprint to make the State debt-free, Mr. Shergill said, “The people of Punjab had high hopes but the AAP government has miserably failed to bail out the State from the burgeoning debt and revive the dwindling economy.”

BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh also criticised the State government, blaming it of making a mess of the financial position of the State. He demanded that there should be a white paper surrounding what he termed as squandering Punjab money for promoting political activities of the AAP in other states.

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