Navjot Singh Sidhu: “Punjab loses when Badals gain”

Releasing a white paper in Chandigarh on Friday, Congress candidate from Amritsar East accused Badals of a ₹1 lakh crore liquor scam

PTI Photo
PTI Photo

NH Political Bureau

Although Punjab has the highest per capita alcohol consumption in the country, the trade, alleged Congress candidate from Amritsar Navjot Singh Sidhu, has been monopolised by the Badal family for the last 10 years. “Indirectly, every bottle in Punjab is sold by the Badals," he alleged.

The liquor trade alone in Punjab, he said, was a ₹1 lakh crore scandal. The former cricketer who left BJP last year and joined Congress barely a few days ago was addressing the media in Chandigarh on Friday. While releasing a ‘White Paper’ he claimed that if the Government takes over the liquor trade, 60,000 jobs could be created.

The White Paper among other things alleged,

  • Punjab sold off government owned hotels at throwaway prices
  • The Badal family owned 50 buses in 2007 and 600 in 2017
  • The Badal family had 2 transport companies in 2007 and 8 in 2017
  • Punjab earns a revenue of ₹5,610 crore from 12,500 liquor outlets, while Tamil Nadu earns ₹26,188 crore from 6,323 vends
  • There has been a 400% increase in loans

The Congress candidate pointed out that the Badal families’ business ventures were in direct conflict with the interests of public exchequer. The Badals shut down government hotels and built private hotels themselves.

"The total loan against Punjab is ₹1,88,000 crore and if loans to all corporations are included it goes up to ₹3 lakh crore," he said, adding new loans are being taken to pay interest for previous loans.

"The Badal family is stealing around ₹10,000 crore in VAT only. They have collected ₹1,700 crore from the sale of government properties and are mulling to collect another ₹4,200 crore for which 144 properties have been shortlisted," alleged Sidhu.

With PTI inputs.

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Published: 20 Jan 2017, 8:00 PM