Session begins on stormy note, Akalis stage walkout over criticism

Chandigarh, February 12: Punjab’s Budget Session began on a stormy note on Tuesday, as opposition Akalis stage walkout to join the farmers to protest against Amarinder Singh’s government as agrarian distress deepens in the state.

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Amid walkouts and protests from the opposition alliance, Governor VP Singh Badnore blamed Punjab’s current financial crisis on the previous Badal government. Badnore claimed financial “imprudence” and “reckless” spending  by former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s government had plunged the state in deep debt.

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“Government’s facing severe financial constraints because of financial imprudence of the previous government. They spent public money recklessly without caring for possible revenue receipts of the state. They had left the state with an outstanding liability of Rs 13,039 crore in March 2017. The state has slipped down the ladder in its ranking in per capita income from third in 2008-2009 to 10th in 2016-2017,” he said, as Akalis stage walkout.

Meanwhile, families of indebted farmers who killed themselves marched to the assembly on Tuesday to demand that the state government fulfill its election promises of debt waiver.

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