Harpal Singh Cheema on Congress (Photo Credit: News Nation)
Harpal Singh Cheema, a senior leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Leader of the Opposition, accusing the ruling Congress party of being biased in allocating funds to MLAs, said that Congress leaders has looted Punjab exchequer with both hands, but no development has been done. Simultaneously, Harpal Singh Cheema announced that with the formation of Aam Aadmi Party government in 2022, the facility of MLA Constituency Development Fund would be introduced for every MLA like the MPs.
In a statement issued from the party headquarters here on Saturday, Harpal Singh Cheema demanded a judicial inquiry, under the supervision of the Hon’ble High Court, into the billions of rupees released by former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to the Congress MLAs. He added that people must demand an account of every penny from the Congress leaders, because it is people's own money, which the Congress leaders have openly devoured.
If the Aam Aadmi Party MLAs had received half as much funds as the Congress MLAs, then the AAP MLAs would have changed the face of their respective constituencies and accounted to the public for the funds spent on development works in each village and locality, as the party president and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann does. Stated, Aam Aadmi Party’s principles are based on spending public money on public works. Aam Aadmi Party does not usurp public money itself. Public in Delhi bears witness to this fact, where Kejriwal government built a Rs 250 crore bridge in Rs 150 crore only and are spending the remaining Rs 100 crore on public health facilities.
Harpal Singh Cheema said that Congress and Badal-BJP talk about constituency development funds; but they do not follow their word when they are in power. Citing the example of Kejriwal's government in Delhi, Harpal Singh Cheema said that a constituency development fund of crores of rupees earmarked for each MLA in Delhi, has been released, for the development of constituency, to all MLAs equally whether he’s from AAP or BJP.
Cheema questioned the former Chief Minister as to why Capt. Amarinder Singh, who is now demanding an account of funds from his MLAs, was asleep when he was releasing billions of rupees to the same Congress MLAs. Cheema said that Capt. Amarinder Singh was bribing Congress MLAs in the name of development funds to save his seat. If development funds had been given, Captain would have demanded their account while he was the Chief Minister, which was never mentioned then. After losing the power position today, captain is suddenly interested in this calculation.
Cheema questioned the intentions and policy of the Congress, saying that the Congress did not care about the mandate of the people, just like Badals, if it had, equal funds would have been released for the development of each constituency. They have only looted the exchequer in the name of development, but did not release a single penny to the MLAs of the Opposition for the development of their constituencies. The same was the case with the Badals earlier, due to which the Congress, as the Opposition at that time, claimed that after coming to power, in Punjab the MLA would get a fixed development fund for equal development of each constituency. But after forming the government in the stated, Congress reneged on this promise like any other. Harpal Singh Cheema said that Aam Aadmi Party respects the will of the people in a democracy whereas Congress and Akali-BJP are vindictive with the people of those constituencies where their party did not get majority vote shares.
Mr. Harpal Singh Cheema reminded the Chief Minister Mr. Charanjit Singh Channi about the days, when Mr. Charanjit Singh Channi was the Leader of Opposition in the Badal government, talking about implementing Constituency Development Fund policy, same for every MLA. Cheema said that Channi did not keep his word, when now he has the authority and means to actually make it happen. He said that after becoming the Chief Minister, he did not even make hollow declaration in this case, regarding constituency MLA fund, which is very unlike Announcer Channi.
Harpal Singh Cheema said that after coming to power in 2022, the Aam Aadmi Party would implement the Constituency Development Fund for every MLA without any discrimination policy, as has been implemented by the Kejriwal government in Delhi.