NEW DELHI: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday attacked the Shiromani Akali Dal leaders -- Badals -- claiming that they are running around like 'scared rabbits with no hole to hide' fearing the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
"Faced by imminent defeat in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Badals were running around like scared rabbits, with no hole to hide," the CM said.
He also added that the Badals may soon be sent into political oblivion by the voters. "If they (Badals) continue their desperate efforts to cheat people, they would be thrown into political oblivion forever by the electorate," he said.
His comments came a day after SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal called the loan waiver announced by the Congress in Punjab and other states a 'farce'.
Trashing the 'political theatrics' of the SAD, the CM said that Badal was misleading the farming community in a desperate bid to wean it away from the Congress. "He (Badal) should give up such theatrics if he wanted his party to remain a serious contender in the political arena," Amarinder said.
The CM pointed out that Congress President Rahul Gandhi had already promised waiver of loans for the beleaguered farmers across the country if the party was elected to power in the forthcoming elections. "It is evident that the SAD-BJP combine is scared out of their wits by the Congress leadership's promise and their track record of delivering on their poll promises in all the states in which the party had been elected to power," said Amarinder.
Ridiculing Badal's "attempts to divert public attention from the erstwhile Akali-BJP regime's failure on all counts", Amarinder said: "For 10 years, the Badals did not take cognizance of the plight of the farmers and were now shedding crocodile tears for them."
Countering Badal's allegations, Amarinder pointed out that his government had delivered on its promise of loan waiver despite the severe financial constraints and fiscal mess it had inherited from the Badal regime. "Not just the farmers of Punjab but those of the entire nation had appreciated the government`s initiative, which had been replicated now by the newly installed Congress regime in three other states," he added.
Sharing numbers, the Chief Minister pointed out that his government had so far disbursed Rs 3,595.04 crore to 428,246 farmers against their debts, with the process for loan waiver to 159,632 small farmers also being initiated.
"Of this, Rs 1,815.78 crore had been disbursed to 317,965 marginal farmers against loans taken from cooperative banks and Rs 1,779.26 crore to 110,281 marginal farmers towards loans from commercial banks," Amarinder pointed out.
Challenging the SAD president to cite even one example of any benefit provided by their government to the farmers, Amarinder said: "These are hard facts that no amount of fabrications by Sukhbir Badal or anyone else can negate."