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AAP, SAD lying, no funds taken from private power firms in Punjab: CM

A file photo of Punjab Chief Minsiter Amarinder Singh. Photo: @capt_amarinder/Twiter

Chandigarh, July 13 (MNN) In the wake of accusations from the opposition about Congress accepting political donations from private power companies in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday hit out at the Aam Aadmi Party and Shiromani Akali Dal for “blatantly lying on the issue”.

The Chief Minister dared both opposition parties to declare all their political funding of the past 10 years so that the people of Punjab knew the truth behind their claims and counter-claims.

“Let the truth come out, and let the people decide who is or has been cheating them with false allegations and accusations,” he remarked.

“Unlike illegal donations made to these parties by various shell companies, funds provided to the Congress has nothing to do with Punjab Assembly elections or the controversial Power Purchase Agreements signed by the earlier SAD governments,” the Congress leader remarked.

He maintained that political donations by certain power companies were made not to the Punjab Congress but All India Congress Committee back in 2009 and 2014, with no connection whatsoever to his government in the state.

He accused both parties of “spreading a carnage of lies in a desperate attempt to mislead the people ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections”.

The Chief Minister claimed that PPAs in question were signed by the erstwhile SAD-BJP government, and were thus legally binding on future governments.

So the Congress government could not rescind the same without heavy penalties on the cash-strapped state, he claimed.

The Chief Minister maintained that his government was exploring legal recourse to neutralise the ill-effects of the PPAs without further burdening the state’s exchequer, which he claimed the Akalis and its BJP ally had milked dry to fill their own pockets.

In fact, he alleged, as per media reports, the Akalis led by the Badals had taken more than Rs 100 crore in political funds but declared a measly Rs 13 crore, putting the remaining about in their own pockets.

“As for the AAP, the donations taken by Arvind Kejriwal’s party during the 2014 elections are already under Enforcement Directorate scanner as, unlike funds donated to AICC by private power companies, these were neither accounted for nor declared,” the Congress leader remarked.

Media reports recently said that the ED had registered a case pertaining to four cheques for Rs 50 lakh, allegedly given to the AAP during the 2014 Delhi Assembly elections. Last year, Delhi Police had registered a case of forgery, cheating against the four companies, he said.

“While my government is busy working to address the problems ‘donated’ to Punjab people by the Akalis, the party is busy wasting time on creating law and order problems in the state amid Covid pandemic, thus multiplying their problems,” the Chief Minister said.

“And AAP also seems to be in collusion, choosing not to question the controversial and anti-people decisions of the previous SAD-BJP government in Punjab, but instead contributing to the troubles of the state’s people,” he added.

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