Chandigarh: Punjab Deputy Chief Minister
Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday criticised Opposition leaders for
their stand on various issues like subsidies, saying that they
should "apologise" to the people for their "unprincipled
"The entire band of our critics and opponents has now
converted to our line of thinking. They should apologise to
the people of Punjab for wasting their time and energy with
direction-less, muddle-headed and unprincipled opposition to
the SAD-BJP stand on subsidies," Badal, who is also president
of Shiromani Akali Dal, said.
"The duplicity and political and ideological
bankruptcy of our opponents stands thoroughly exposed. We have
been fully vindicated," he said.
In a statement here, Sukhbir also came down heavily
against those who claimed that the SAD-BJP stand on subsidies
was dictated by electoral considerations.
"We have never flinched from our stand on this issue.
The whole world knows that it was Chief Minister Parkash Singh
Badal who had introduced these policies in February 1997. The
SAD-BJP pitched in strongly for subsidies again from day one
after resuming administrative control in March 2007."
The new stand (of supporting subsidies) of Congress
and its allies was forced by the dominant mood of the people
ahead of the elections, he claimed.
He also criticised the UPA for its alleged double
standards on the issue.
"They doled out billions as subsidies to big business
houses on the excuse of bailing the economy out of slow-down.
But they opposed us for helping the farm sector in similar
The state cabinet in a recent meeting has introduced a
new pattern of collector rates aimed to reduce corruption,
Badal said after laying the foundation stone at another place.
The meeting has mandated that all registration of
properties cannot be done below collector rate and one was
free to get his property registered above collector rate, he
said, adding that he cabinet has decided to adopt a uniform
formula for calculating collector rate of building portion.
This decision was in line with administrative reforms
initiated by the Punjab government that would minimise the
scope of corruption in the tehsils, Badal said.
The Deputy CM was hopeful that the state could collect
Rs 11,000 crore in value added tax (VAT) collection within