Chandigarh : Citing hard-core facts and data, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday took on Akali President Sukhbir Singh Badal for deceiving the people with his blatant misinformation on the recently released GGI report, which was actually a reflection of the poor governance under the erstwhile SAD-BJP regime.
The Chief Minister took on the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief over his total ignorance about the state, which his party, in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had misruled for a decade, to pull it down on every index of progress.Referring to the GGI report released by the Government of India on December 25, 2019, Captain Amarinder pointed out that the data used to prepare the index dated back to FY 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17, when Punjab was under the regime of the Akalis and the BJP.
Captain Amarinder further pointed out that anyone involved in serious and responsible governance would know that indices of progress are developed over a time and any development process translates into visible outcomes only in subsequent reports. “But Sukhbir would not know that, considering that he never knew the meaning of responsible and good governance,” Captain Amarinder quipped.
Nailing Sukhbir’s lies on the growth of industry and ease of doing business in the state, the Chief Minister noted that the report was based on the data from 2014-15. The ease of doing business was also observed in 2017 when transformations of the sector under the newly elected government were still in process.
In his tearing haste to condemn the current government, Sukhbir had clearly not bothered to check out even the basic facts before coming out with his statement, said Captain Amarinder, adding that the former deputy chief minister had evidently chosen to live in a state of constant delusion, which was far removed from the ground reality, with not even a remote connection with facts and figures.
“For 10 years, their (SAD-BJP) government messed up with Punjab on every count, destroying every sector and pulling the state down to the pits with respect to its social, economic and other key aspects of growth. No wonder the people threw them out in 2017, and in every election thereafter,” said Captain Amarinder.
Yet, Sukhbir and his associates had clearly not learnt any lessons from their mistakes, and continued to believe that their deceptions and falsehoods would eventually succeed in befooling the people of Punjab once, he added.But, said the Chief Minister, “that is not going to happen, as the people are much more knowledgeable and intelligent than Sukhbir believed them to be.” They (the people) want progress and development, not chicanery and falsehoods, he added.
Pointing to the Economic Governance indicator data used in the report, the Chief Minister said it related to 2016-17, thus reflecting the progress in the sector under the previous government. Even the data under Social welfare and development, sex ratio at birth, health insurance coverage and empowerment of minorities dated back to the previous government’s time, he further noted.
As far as Agriculture and Allied sector was concerned, data for all indicators other than 1 with a low weightage of 0.1, has been taken from 2015-16 and 2016-17 – when the Congress government was not in power, said the Chief Minister.Under public health, where Punjab could have done better, data on Maternal mortality ratio, Infant mortality ratio and Immunization achievement are all from the period between 2014-2017.
In cases where the data has been taken from the period relevant to the current dispensation, the indices either reflect progress made on key parameters or are expected to reflect excellent turnaround in the subsequent report since this government has actively put into place measures to improve on these concerns and the report measures outcomes which take a relatively longer time to show than processes and inputs.
For example, the Chief Minister noted, observing that Punjab ranks very high on Human Resource Development where data for quality of education, skills imparted and placements has been taken from 2017 onwards.Had Sukhbir spent a little more time in properly reading the report, instead of rushing headlong into criticising his (Captain Amarinder’s) government, he might have been spared the shame of being once again exposed as a liar and deceiver, whose only agenda was to make baseless allegations against the current regime, said the Chief Minister.
The last few years had seen Sukhbir and his family had progressively reduced the old and respected Akali Dal into a party with no ideology, the Chief Minister lamented, warning that if they continue to make a mockery of their party, the time would soon come when SAD would be completely wiped out from Punjab’s polity.