The Punjab government has approved the purchase of over 400 luxury vehicles for the chief minister, ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats of the state. According to the News18 report, the purchase of new vehicles is likely to cost around Rs 80 crore which will take a toll on the already stressed state exchequer. As per the order, the department has approved purchase of 16 Land Cruisers, including two bullet proof for the chief minister, 13 Mahindra Scorpios for his staff, 14 Maruti Dzire/Honda Amaze/Ertiga for the officers on special duty (OSDs) to the CM. 17 ministers of Punjab will be given Toyota Fortuner or Toyota Crysta. The government will also buy 97 Toyota Crysta for legislators.
Many organizations are criticizing this move of Punjab Government. They are claiming that it will put extra burden on state exchequer. The Finance Minister of Punjab- Manpreet Singh Badal – during the budget session had said that the state is under debt of around Rs 1,95,978 crore.
The important question is despite the state being in debt why the politicians of the state are more interested in getting new luxury vehicles instead of working in the direction to bring the state out of debt. People elect these representatives to work for them but instead of serving the people these so-called representatives do all other unproductive things. Most of the people become politician not to serve the people but to get the VVIP treatment and entitlements. These people enter into politics only to enjoy the luxury and attention. It seems they become ministers not to serve the country but to get ‘noticed’. Why to waste taxpayers’ money to fulfil their personal ambitions? What kind of bourgeoisie mentality is this?
At a time when Punjab is plagued by so many problems such as unemployment, sanitation, drug menace, debt issue, price rise, agriculture-related issues, and minuscule increase in activities carried out by separatist forces, the state government is more interested in purchasing luxury vehicles rather than solving these problems. Farmers are suffering and the poor people are suffering but the state government, rather than spending money on their welfare, is spending the money on other non-essential things like buying luxury vehicles. Maybe such a carless attitude of the state government is the reason behind the increasing dissatisfaction among people of Punjab with respect to Captain Amarinder Singh. A recent survey carried out by Political Stock Exchange (PSE) has shown a considerable decline in the approval rating of CM Amarinder Singh. About 45 percent of respondents expressed their dissatisfaction with the incumbent CM. The decline in his approval rating raises a red flag for the Congress ahead of 2019 general elections. As of right now Punjab is the only state where Congress can claim that it is in strong position and can outsmart NDA in the state in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
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