Chandigarh, July 6: Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday dared Punjab Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu if he would close down the Virasat -e-Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib, Jang-e-Azadi Memorial and the Heritage Street at Amritsar because these are also not “economically viable”.
The response from Badal came after Sidhu’s decision to shelve the amphibious bus project and auction off the amphibious bus procured by the Akali-BJP government in 2016.
“The reason given is that the project was unviable. But the Congress government did not run the buses at all after it came to power. It is a shame that dirty politics is taking precedence over good governance and welfare of Punjab,” he told The Tribune on the sidelines of a party meeting today.
He asked Sidhu to follow a positive agenda for the holistic development of tourism in Punjab, instead of dismantling projects in the name of viability. The amphibious bus project which had been scrapped by Navjot Sidhu was not my project but that of the people of the state.
“It ran for ten days because it was stopped by you simply because I started it,” he said.
Asked about the report submitted by Justice Ranjit Singh commission, set up to unravel the truth behind the incidents of sacrilege that rocked Punjab in 2015, the Akali Dal president said that he and all Akali leaders had rejected the report.
“The person heading the commission is a personal friend of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Whatever the CM directed is reflected in the report, which is also corroborating the ‘new findings’ of the special investigation team. As home minister, when the incidents took place, we were sure of unbiased investigation. Now the hope is on CBIs findings,” he said.
Asked about the drug menace in Punjab and what he thought of demand for death penalty to drug peddlers, Badal said the state government was trying to absolve itself of all responsibility to deal with the issue.
“I as the Akali Dal president appeal to the chief minister to keep aside all politics on this sensitive issue and instead call an all party meeting, along with all stake holders to take effective steps to deal with the issue,” he said.
Source Tribune India