Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal today lashed at Punjab Congress leaders for allegedly deceiving people of Punjab on the property tax issue and hit back at Congress led UPA for "arm twisting" the states into taking the decision. "The Punjab government had been resisting the union government's pressure to impose property tax but the Congress-led UPA government withheld grants sanctioned under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), as we had not imposed taxes the Centre had sought," he said in a statement here.
To meet its narrow political interests leadership from Punjab Congress has forced its party led Centre government to withhold Rs 2000 crore under various JNNURM projects till property tax was imposed in Punjab, he added.
Sukhbir asked the PPCC leaders that why they did not approach their high command seeking revocation of the tax imposed by the Centre.
If Punjab Congress has any love for the state it had appealed its high command to refrain from thrusting anti-people policies on the states rather than politicising the issue, he said. "We are left with no other alternative than succumbing to the pressure of the Centre and resorting to these taxes unwillingly," added Sukhbir. He questioned that why Punjab Congress leadership did not support Punjab government in putting pressure on its party led Centre government to revoke all these riders it has imposed on the urban development grants?
Alleging that the Congress party was trying to camouflage its misdeeds by misleading people of the state, he said it was Congress led Union government that has imposed riders, including a property tax on the state government for seeking urban development grants. He said that not only Punjab but this tax has been implemented in the entire country on the directions of the Union government.