Union minister Manish Tewari took a dig at Akali Dal and BJP leaders for staging a demonstration in front of his house here today over the extension of special industrial package to neighbouring hill states.
The Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting said the Akali Dal and BJP leaders should instead protest in front of Punjab deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's house as it was he who announced the incentive when he was a central minister.
"It was Sukhbir who was the Union Minister of State for Industries in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government when this package was originally announced," he said.
In a statement here, Tewari said the Congress-led UPA government rather tried to rationalise the incentives by curtailing the scheme in 2007, withdrawing the incentive on central excise to these states in 2010 and the incentive on income tax in 2012.
The Ludhiana MP said he or the UPA government at the Centre did not need a certificate from the leaders of Akali Dal and BJP for the help provided to the Ludhiana industry in terms of excise and other relief and incentives.
"Everybody in Ludhiana knows our contribution towards helping the industry in various ways and I really don't need any certificate for that, more so from the Akalis or the BJP who have pushed the industry to the brink," he said.
"Since they do not have the moral courage to admit to their failures and accept that there is a policy paralysis in Punjab that has led to this state of affairs, when Punjab is at the brink of bankruptcy, they have to blame someone else and hence decided to stage demonstration against me," he said.
Emphasising that it was the failure of the government that had led to the decline of industries, he said there were many other states which had done well without any incentives.
"If industry is shutting down in Punjab it is not because of the incentives to others but only because the failure of the state government," he claimed, adding that "our industry is not moving to the hill states, but other states which do not have any incentives".
Advising the Akali-BJP leaders to better introspect than resort to cheap political posturing for lack of any real issues against him and the Congress, Tewari said, "As long as they (Akali-BJP) are not prepared to accept their own failures and continue to blame it on others, they will never be able to address the serious issues the state was facing."