Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced that his government will bring out a White Paper, in the monsoon session of the state Assembly, to expose the fraud committed by the Akalis with regard to the controversial Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with private players. The White Paper will reveal all the documents signed by the previous SAD-BJP government in the state, as well as the power plants set up by them, which had allegedly caused an undue burden on the state, the Chief Minister told media persons. The Chief Minister was engaging in an informal chat with the media after the Governor’s address on the first day of the two-day special session of the Assembly.
The Akalis were slippery characters, said Captain Amarinder, adding that after messing with the state’s economy through various destructive measures, including the PPAs, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was trying to use the issue against his government to promote their vested political interests.
The Chief Minister pointed out that his government had won the case on the issue in the lower court but the Supreme Court decisions went against them. The state government was fighting the case now in the apex court, he added. He himself had sat on a dharna against an India Bulls plant when in Opposition, recalled Captain Amarinder.
The then Akali government had got the Gidderbaha NTPC power project canceled to sign an MoU with India Bulls for setting up the plant, going against the prevailing practice of inviting global tenders for power projects and also forcibly evicting farmers from their land in Gobindpura for the controversial project. The Chief Minister asserted that his government was committed to protecting the interests of Punjab and its people, and will ensure that nothing detrimental to them is done.
When asked if the government will bring in a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), on the lines of Kerala, the Chief Minister’s response was ‘wait till tomorrow’. The government, it may be recalled, had earlier announced its decision to go by the will of the House on the way forward on the issue of the CAA, as well as the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR). The Captain Amarinder government has already rejected these as unconstitutional and divisive.
Terming the Opposition walkout during the Governor’s Address as extremely unfortunate, the Chief Minister lamented that such behavior in the House had become a way of life. The walkout was expected, he said, but took on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and SAD over their decision to disturb and interrupt the Governor’s address while he was speaking on the vital religious subject of the 550th Prakash Purab celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji. The walkout by the Opposition took place while the Governor was talking about the fact that Punjab was fortunate to have celebrated this historic occasion, along with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi.