With the Opposition parties attacking ruling Congress over high power tariff in the state, Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced that his government will bring out a White Paper, in the monsoon session of the state Assembly, to expose the fraud committed by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) with regard to the controversial Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with private players.
The White Paper will reveal all the documents signed by the previous SAD-BJP government in the state, as well as the power plants set up by them, which had caused undue burden on the state, the CM told reporters in an informal chat after the Governor’s address on the first day of the two-day special session of the Assembly.
The Akalis were slippery characters, said Amarinder, adding that after messing with the state’s economy through various destructive measures, including the PPAs, the SAD was trying to use the issue against his government to promote their vested political interests.
The CM pointed out that his government had won the case on the issue in the lower court but the Supreme Court decisions went against them.
The state government was fighting the case now in the apex court, he added. He himself had sat on dharna against India Bulls plant when in Opposition, recalled Amarinder.
The then Akali government had got the Gidderbaha NTPC power project cancelled to sign an MoU with India Bulls for setting up the plant, going against the prevailing practice of inviting global tenders for power projects and also forcibly evicting farmers from their land in Gobindpura for the controversial project.
The CM said his government was committed to protecting the interests of Punjab and its people, and will ensure that nothing detrimental to them is done.
Asked if the government will bring in a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), on the lines of Kerala, the CM’s response was ‘wait till tomorrow’. The government, it may be recalled, had earlier announced its decision to go by the will of the House on the way forward on the issue of the CAA, as well as the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR). The Amarinder government has already rejected these as unconstitutional and divisive.
Earlier, Opposition SAD and Aam Aadmi Party members walked out from the Punjab Assembly during the Governor’s Address to protest “non-fulfilment “of various promises made by the state Congress government.
Terming the Opposition walkout during the Governor’s Address as extremely unfortunate, the CM lamented that such behaviour in the House had become a way of life. The walkout was expected, he said, but took on the AAP and SAD over their decision to disturb and interrupt the Governor’s address while he was speaking on the vital religious subject of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev.