Former Punjab chief minister (CM) Parkash Singh Badal  on Sunday declined the offer of a free government accommodation  made by the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government as a goodwill gesture.

In a statement, the former CM said he was " thankful to CM Captain Amarinder Singh for his gracious gesture”. “It is very graceful of him to make this offer and  I thank him from the core of my heart for this. But I am making my own arrangements for stay. However, I value hissentiment highly and fully reciprocate it," Badal said.

The former CM also said  if the new  government  has the will to fulfill its promises, it can easily do so. “Their (Congress) manifesto was prepared and released by one of the finest economists in the world, Dr Manmohan Singh,(fomer Prime Minister) and he would not have made these promises if he thought that  Punjab government's treasury
was empty and lacks the funds to meet these expenses,” Badal said.

“ So I expect the new government to fulfill their  promises in he first months itself. I will personally congratulate them when they do so, " he added.

The former CM said he was surprised over the setting up of a committee by the new government  to study the farmer's debt. "All the details are available in government records and also in various studies conducted by farm economists and university experts. All it needs is for the new government to implement its promise."

Commenting on the first few decisions announced by the council of ministers, Badal said except a few cosmetic gestures like red beacons, almost 95 per cent of the announcements are either repeat of old policies or are mere empty rhetoric. For example, on the promise to ban sale of farmers land for loan defaults, Badal said that  the SAD-BJP government has already implemented that through the  Farmers Indebtedness Bill which prohibits sale of farmers land by banks or money lenders and banking institutions.

Similarly, there is already a provision for confiscation of properties of drug peddlers and many properties had already been confiscated by the SAD-BJP government.