Reacting to the criticism of the state government on the fiscal front, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar on Saturday said the 10-year rule of the SAD-BJP was to blame for the present economic situation.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Punjab finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa had on Friday claimed that the state government's performance regarding the GST collection was the "worst" in the country.
Dhindsa had accused the government of resorting to a "mischievous campaign" to divert attention from its own failures.
Jakhar reminded the Akali Dal leader that the previous government had accepted a debt of Rs 31,000 crore on foodgrain purchase days before leaving the office in 2017.
He termed the Akali leader's remarks unwarranted and said Dhindsa was speaking against his own state for "petty political gains".
"How can anyone deny the role of the previous government for the current economic condition of Punjab? The previous government made an unethical decision of accepting Rs 31,000-crore debt for the difference in account of foodgrain procurement, causing an irreparable loss," he said.
"What forced them to make such a fatal decision a few days before the assembly polls in 2017," he asked, adding that SAD leaders should make their stand clear on the "fraud" committed by their government.
"Had the previous government not accepted a debt of Rs 31,000 crore, our present economic condition would have been better," Jakhar added.
The state Congress chief said when the SAD-BJP government assumed office in 2007, Punjab's debt stood at only Rs 46,000 crore.
Due to wrong economic policies and poor financial management, the state's debt touched Rs 2.25 lakh crore in 10 years, he claimed.
Jakhar also asked what was wrong in demanding the state's share in the GST collection from the Centre.
It would have been better had the leader of the Akali Dal, which was part of the the NDA government at the Centre, get GST arrears released, he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)