Congress opposes Rs.7-crore bullet-proof BMWs for Badals

Chandigarh, July 5 (IANS) The Congress Friday condemned the purchase of two bullet-proof BMW vehicles by the Punjab government for Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

In a statement here Friday, six Congress legislators said that purchasing these expensive luxury cars for the personal use of the Badals was a mockery of the fund-starved Punjab where the government was unable to even pay salaries to government staff.

The legislators include Randeep Singh, Navtej Singh Cheema, Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Ajit Inder Singh Mofar, Ramanjit Singh Sikki and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria.

They said that earlier the chief minister had given nod for the purchase of an aeroplane worth Rs.75 crore for use by Sukhbir Badal.

"The Badals were using luxury at the cost of public exchequer. Punjab needs to take strict austerity measures to cope with the economic crisis looming large over state," the legislators said.

"The Punjab government was not able to pay salaries to its employees and taking overdraft from the Reserve Bank to meet day-to-day expenses. The government has taken Rs.700 crore loan to pay the salaries of staff. Dearness Allowance instalments have also not been paid," they contended.

They asserted that the purchase of BMW cars was wastage of public funds.

"The Badal family already has a fleet of over 30 government vehicles at their disposal that includes luxury cars and bullet proof SUVs. The Badals have enough resources to purchase luxury vehicles for their personal use, then why they are burdening the government," the legislators said.

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