On March 24, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann sought Rs 50,000 crore per year for two years from Centre as financial aid claiming the financial health of the state is very poor. As per media reports, Mann informed PM about the financial condition of the state and told him that there are debt worth Rs 3 lakh crores. Further, he demanded a special package for Punjab worth Rs 50,000 crores for two years to improve the state’s financial condition. In a video statement, he said, “I met PM Modi today. He congratulated me on becoming CM of Punjab.”
हमें राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा बनाए रखने के लिए केंद्र के समर्थन की जरूरत है। पंजाब की आर्थिक स्थिति बदहाल है। हमने राज्य की वित्तीय स्थिति में सुधार के लिए 2 साल के लिए प्रति वर्ष 50,000 करोड़ रुपए के पैकेज की मांग की है: प्रधानमंत्री मोदी के साथ बैठक के बाद पंजाब के CM @BhagwantMann pic.twitter.com/GX4Wbbndik— Ram / राम 🇮🇳 (@ramkumarjha) March 24, 2022
In a tweet in Punjabi informing about his meeting with PM Modi, Mann said, “Met Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji today to discuss the issues of Punjab. I sincerely hope to get support from the central government to resolve state’s issues.” Mann has claimed if the state gets the package for two years, his government would be able to stabilize the financial condition of Punjab.
ਅੱਜ ਮਾਣਯੋਗ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਨਰਿੰਦਰ ਮੋਦੀ ਜੀ ਨਾਲ ਮੁਲਾਕਾਤ ਕਰ ਕੇ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੇ ਮੁੱਦਿਆਂ ‘ਤੇ ਚਰਚਾ ਕੀਤੀ। ਮੈਨੂੰ ਪੂਰੀ ਉਮੀਦ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੇ ਭੱਖਦੇ ਮਸਲਿਆਂ ‘ਤੇ ਕੇਂਦਰ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਤੋਂ ਲੋੜੀਂਦਾ ਸਹਿਯੋਗ ਮਿਲੇਗਾ। pic.twitter.com/wzaNugAFz6— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) March 24, 2022
One of the major poll promises of AAP was freebies to Punjab people. AAP chief and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had promised round the clock free electricity supply to everyone in Punjab. He had also promised Rs 1000 monthly financial aid to all women above age of 18 years in Punjab. He had also promised to renovate all schools and hospitals in Punjab and establishment of ‘Pind Clinics’ along the lines of Mohalla Clinics where everyone will be treated free of cost.
Soon after swearing in, Mann had announced 25,000 government jobs, which will also come from the state exchequer.
However, after having made these promises of freebies, Mann has claimed the state is under tremendous debt and sought the Centre’s help. This led to speculation that should the Aam Aadmi Party led government in Punjab fail to fulfil the freebie promises, they might put the blame squarely on Central government, a strategy Arvind Kejriwal has used quite often.
Amusingly, as pointed out by political humour Twitter handle Political Kida, Kejriwal had already listed out how he would turn the 3,00,000 crore Punjab debt into surplus.
It was expected that AAP will go to centre to beg but didn’t expected too soon. pic.twitter.com/ucbH64NjWG— Political Kida (@PoliticalKida) March 24, 2022
He had claimed that he would eliminate the corruption and save Rs 34,000 crore, get rid of sand mafia and save Rs 20,000 crore revenue. However, it now seems the math did not fall through and newly elected AAP government in Punjab has given up on eliminating corruption in Punjab.