Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday took a jibe at the Congress-led Punjab government for its fall in the World Bank’s ease of doing business survey, PTI reported. Modi criticised Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s government while comparing it to Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Haryana, which has risen to the third spot on the index.
Punjab was ranked 20th on the annual list compiled by the World Bank and Indian government’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
The prime minister was speaking at a Kisan Kalyan rally in Punjab’s Malout. “I want to urge the people of Punjab to ask the Congress government why the state’s ranking has slipped in the World Bank report on ease of doing business,” Modi said, adding that the state dropped from the position it was at during BJP-ally Parkash Singh Badal’s administration. Andhra Pradesh topped the list.
Modi praised veteran Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. “I am fortunate that whenever I need guidance on any issue concerning farmers, I look at Badal, who dedicated his life for farmers and knows their problems.”
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar claimed Modi had failed to make a tangible offer to the farmers in the state and referred to his rally as a gimmick, The Indian Express reported.
Singh accused Modi of “betraying Punjab” by allowing Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to be present at the event. “The distressed farmers who had gathered to hear Modi found no succour for their problems in his long speech, which was high on fluff and short of substance,” Singh said. “The prime minister failed to even mention farmer suicides and debts.”