CHANDIGARH: Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today politely declined the offer of a free government accommodation made by the Punjab government, saying he was thankful to his successor Amarinder Singh for the gracious gesture.
In a gesture of goodwill, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had yesterday decided to provide Badal with free government accommodation of his choice amid reports that the senior Akali leader was hunting for a suitable residence after demitting the chief minister's office.
"It is very graceful of him to make this offer and I thank him for this from the core of my heart. But I am making my own arrangements for stay. However, I value his sentiment highly and fully reciprocate it," he said in a statement here.
Badal said he and his party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) would fully, whole-heartedly and constructively support any decision of the Congress government in the state which is in the larger interest of the people of Punjab.
SAD does not believe in confrontation nor in criticism for the sake of criticism, the ex-Chief Minister said, adding if the new government has the will to fulfil its promises, it can easily do so.
"Their (Congress') manifesto was prepared and released by one of the finest economists in the world, Dr Manmohan Singh, and he would not have made these promises if he thought that Punjab government's treasury was empty and lacks the funds to meet these expenses," he said.
"So I expect the new government to fulfil their promises in he first months itself. I will personally congratulate them when they do so," he said.
Badal said he was surprised over the setting up of a committee by the new government to study the farmer's debt.
"All the details are available in government records and also in various studies conducted by farm economists and university experts. All it needs is for the new government to implement its promise," he said.
Badal said he does not believe that Amarinder Singh as a Sikh would go back on the promises he made with the sacred scriptures in his hand.
"I am waiting for announcements not only on the drugs issue but also on the waiver of farmers debt, raising of pensions and Shaguns scheme amounts, and all the other schemes announced by the Congress in their manifesto. I believe they will not let the people down," he said.