Chandigarh, Jan 15 (IANS) Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Thursday accused political leaders from various parties and the media for creating a wrong impression and twisting facts to project Punjab as a state of people addicted to drugs and being bankrupt.
Making a presentation in Patiala town, 80 km from here, at his first public conclave series to sensitize people about “real facts” about the state, Badal said that he would unmask the “conspiracy of vested interests who want to make political capital by dubbing the state as bankrupt and Punjabis as drug addicts”.
Urging political parties and leaders to rise above “petty interests”, he said that creating wrong perceptions about the state was harming the interests of Punjab.
“The idea of the conclave arose in my mind after multinational companies desirous of investing in the state started asking questions about the extent of drug addiction in Punjab. I then realized that repeated wrong perceptions created by some ill-informed political leaders had been twisted by the media and Punjab was being projected as a state facing a serious crisis of drug addiction,” he noted.
“We are victims of this drugs war. We are fighting the nation’s war on drugs,” Badal said.
Contending that Punjab had performed well on all economic indicators, he said Punjab’s GDP had doubled from Rs.5,000 crore to Rs.10,000 crore in five years and Punjab’s share in the national GDP had witnessed a substantial increase to 3.23 percent despite forming only 2.4 percent population of the country.
He said that a progressive state like Punjab was being punished by devolution of central taxes.
“Punjab’s share in devolution of central taxes has been reduced from 2.45 percent in 1970 to 1.32 percent at present. Inefficiently-performing states like Uttar Pradesh got devolution of funds to the tune of Rs.83,620 crore whereas Punjab got only Rs.9,270 crore in 2012-13.”
“We must stop encouraging inefficient and non-performing states and punishing best-governed and performing states like Punjab,” Badal said.