AAP is allegedly including projects sanctioned by the previous governments in the party’s list of achievements to send a powerful message across to the electorate in an election year that the government was on a developmental spree.
AAP National convener Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann had come out with a list of projects worth Rs 1,854 crore during the ‘vijay kranti’ rally held in Gurdaspur last Saturday. A close perusal, however, reveals that works financed by previous dispensations had become a part of the list triggering strong reactions from the party’s detractors who say it is a classic case of ‘old wine in new bottles.’
Ex Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, claimed one of his pet projects — the Kalanaur based College of Agriculture — has been hijacked by AAP. He said, “Read the list carefully and you will get to know the deception being played by AAP. The fact is I got administrative and financial approval for the Kalanaur college way back in 2022. It is my venture that is being displayed in a new package.”
“You cannot inaugurate the same project twice. Hence, instead of using the word ‘inauguration’ we use words such as ‘gifted’ and ‘presented’ in our press-releases when we repackage old projects. This is nothing new as political parties normally resort to such gimmicks to catch votes,” said a government PR official.
Gurdaspur’s new bus stand was inaugurated on Saturday but its foundation stone was laid in August, 2012 by Sukhbir Singh Badal. Gurdaspur Congress MLA Barindermeet Singh Pahra did the work for the project during his party’s stint in power from 2017 till 2022. Its cost has been included in the Rs 1,854 crore package. Likewise, work on the Tibri road railway underpass, too, was started by the Congress dispensation. However, AAP has included it in their financial package.
Dinanagar MLA Aruna Chaudhary was the revenue minister in 2021 when the Tehsil complexes of Dinanagar and Dorangla were constructed at a cost of Rs 7 crore. Again, AAP added these entities in its package.