Punjab Congress today rejected the state government proposal to convert the Rs 31,000 crore theft, committed on the state on account of the food grain scandal, into loan. The party has decided to approach the court to scuttle the move.
Reacting to the admission made by the state government about missing food grains to the tune of Rs 31,000 crores, Punjab Congress vice president and Chief Spokesperson, Sunil Jakhar said, "you cannot convert a theft into a loan and put the liability on the people of the state for another 20 years”.
Jakhar has been vigorously raising the issue of the scandal for quite some time. Earlier the RBI and the consortium of 33 banks refused to provide CCL guarantee to Punjab over, what was earlier thought to be Rs 21,000 crore scandal.
The Congress Chief Spokesperson demanded that instead of putting the liability on the people of the state, the responsibility must be fixed and the theft amount recovered from the personal properties of those responsible.
"Why should people of the state, who are already burdened with over Rs 1.25 lakh crore debt bear the liability of the theft committed by few people in power?” he asked, while asserting, come what may, the Congress party will not allow it.
"You cannot condone a massive scandal of such humongous proportion by an executive order and we will not let that happen”, he asserted, while adding, the Congress party will use all the legal and constitutional means to ensure that not only are the real culprits punished, but also made to repay the money they have defrauded people of, from their personal accounts.
The PCC vice president said, truth had finally come out and the state government had to eventually admit to the fraud despite the BJP led NDA government at the centre desperately trying to shield it under the patronage of the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Jakhar said, given the nature of irrefutable evidence against it corroborated by the CAG also, which pointed out to use of ‘ghost trucks’ bearing registration numbers which later turned out to be of the two wheelers, the state government had no way but to admit to the fraud.
Besides, he added, the state cannot hide behind the excuse of "misappropriation” as it is actually an intentional and deliberate theft and the thieves need to be identified, exposed and punished.