Ask finance department about whereabouts of Central grants, not us: SAD tells Sidhu

Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday reminded Navjot Sidhu that he was a cabinet minister also besides being a comedian and that he should ask the State finance department about the whereabouts of various financial grants received from the Centre rather than trying to create a roadside tamasha about the same.

In a statement here, former minister and SAD spokesman Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema said it would be better if Sidhu sat in his office for four days and tried to understand the functioning of the government instead of rushing off to Mumbai every other day to record comedy shows.

“If you do this you will come to know that each and every penny received from the Centre under various heads is accounted for. The entire amount received for the Ludhiana smart city project is with the treasury. Similarly the Rs 114 crore you referred to as received for the AMRUT scheme is also with the finance department. So too is the money received from the finance ministry as part of the incentive fund. Instead of asking us about the money, you should ask the finance department when the money will be released,” Dr Cheema said.

Speaking about Sidhu’s behavior, Dr Cheema said, “I gave a reasonable and well thought out answer to the mindless allegations made by Sidhu against former chief minister S Parkash Singh Badal yesterday. Today he held a press conference to ridicule me instead of trying to substantiate his allegations as was expected of him. Stating this was a fit case for the expression “khoda pahar nikli chuhi”, the Akali leader said Sidhu had even debased himself by stating that he could not hold a debate with him. I am a former cabinet minister. You have been a minister for barely two months. But instead of debating the issue with a former cabinet minister, who is your equal, you want to do this with a five time former chief minister. This speaks volumes about your political maturity.”

The SAD leader said this behavior was however not Sidhu’s fault.

“It is only an outpouring of frustration. He has been dreaming about acquiring the chief minister’s chair since long. He went to various shops with this in mind before being promised the Deputy CM’s post by the Congress. He did not get this post but his wish to become CM is still very strong. That is why he is keen to project himself as someone who is bigger than the chief minister by resorting to big lies,” Dr Cheema said.

Stating that lies and bluster would not take him anywhere, Dr Cheema again asked Sidhu to substantiate his allegations of embezzlement or apologize to the SAD and the people.

“You failed miserably to substantiate any of the allegations leveled by you. You have also proved that you have no knowledge of the fiscal working of the government. It would be better if you acquire this knowledge before indulging in cheap theatrics”, the Akali leader added.

— PTC News