Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked Punjab Local Bodies minister Navjot Sidhu not to turn governance into a comedy circus, stating the minister should either come out with proof of his embezzlement charge or apologize immediately for resorting to cheap theatrics.
“You are in the habit of telling white lies and making tall claims to earn a few laughs. You ought to change your ways now. Governance is not a Comedy Nights with Kapil show. Here you will be made accountable for each and every word uttered by you”, said former minister and SAD spokesman Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema while reacting to Sidhu’s charge that Smart City project funds had been embezzled by the previous government besides other irregularities.
Challenging Sidhu to prove these allegations immediately or apologise and resign from his post, the SAD leader said Sidhu was showing the same mindless behavior which he is wont to exhibit in his laughter show. “You seem to have started hallucinating and think your celebrity status will make people believe the slanderous lies you are uttering against five time chief minister S Parkash Singh Badal. The truth is that you are exposing yourself by coming out with statements which are indicative of a foot in the mouth disease. Please collect your facts. I challenge you to a debate on this issue at a place and time of your choosing”, the Akali leader added.
Giving factual details, Dr Cheema said Punjab was sanctioned Rs 200 crore under the smart city project in the first phase. He said Rs 200 crore was sanctioned for Ludhiana out of which the finance department released only Rs 32 crore. “The remaining Rs 168 crore is still held up in the treasury. You should work to get this money released as well as release the fifty per cent State share to expedite completion of this project in Ludhiana instead of day dreaming about embezzlements”, he added.
Speaking about funds for Jalandhar and Amritsar smart city projects, Dr Cheema said both projects were sanctioned in the second phase. “The state did not receive any finances for starting work on these projects”. He also clarified that no funds has been released for the water supply scheme for Amritsar as referred by Sidhu. “When there was no release of funds where is the embezzlement?” he asked.
Dr Cheema said Sidhu’s allegations about siphoning off money sanctioned by the centre for tourism projects was also ridiculous. “You have abrogated the right to call yourself an ambassador of culture based on your performance in a comedy show, but it takes hard work and commitment to execute works like the Virasat-i-Khalsa, Jang-i-Azadi, War Memorial, Chhota and Vadda Ghallughara memorials, Banda Bahadur memorial at Chappar Chirri as well as Bhagwan Valmikhi and Guru Ravi Das memorials. All these came about due to the vision of Sardar Badal. Punjabis look towards you and the present government to continue with this narrative and not try to negate the positive work done by the SAD-BJP government”.
Advising Sidhu to maintain decor am, the Akali leader said “You are a minister now. You should know that no one can embezzle State funds or siphon off any money as you are claiming. Please read up on State rules of governance or take training if required. But behave and conduct yourself like a minister and not a roadside comic”, the SAD leader advised Sidhu.
— PTC News