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Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal Attacks Congress on GST Bill

June 17th, 2016

NEW DELHI:  Coming out in full support of GST, Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal attacked Congress for blocking the tax reform legislation and accused it of having an agenda of undoing whatever BJP government did without bothering whether it is in nation's interest.
    
Congratulating the Students Organisation of India (SOI) leadership in the state for winning the Panjab University Students Council election, Badal said Akali Dal's students wing (SOI) would also contest in Delhi University polls.
    
"I am shocked how the Congress has backed out of something which they used to propagate once. I think all things can be sorted out in discussion, but their aim is not issues. Their aim is to just make sure whatever BJP does, undo that. That is the agenda and not what is good for the state or what is good for the country," he said.
    
Mr Badal, who is president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, said his party is in support of GST as it will boost the country's GDP.
    
"We are in support of GST because it is the best thing that could happen to the country. It will give a boost to our GDP growth," he said.
    
On whether SAD, which opposed land acquisition bill earlier, was onboard now, he touted that Punjab has highlighted its policy and asked the Centre to adopt it.
    
"What I understand is that they are leaving it to states to implement the land acquisition bill. Every state is independently going to decide on their policy," he said.
    
Mr Badal added that Punjab had the "best policy" and the state has referred its policy even to the Prime Minister and to Parliament.
    
"Instead of looking at something new, look at Punjab's land acquisition policy which is the best. We have successfully acquired thousands of acres," he said.
    
On SAD's ties with ally BJP, which looked strained at one time, he said, "There is no strain relationship with BJP in Punjab. It is only a media creation. They can try anytime, but it will never happen."
    
Mr Badal claimed that the Aam Aadmi Party was a "bubble" in Punjab, which has burst.
    
Asked about the Gujarat situation, which saw arson in the wake of the agitation on reservation for Patels, he said it is not his state's issue and refrained from commenting.
    
"It is not my state's issue and I cannot comment on other states. Every state has a different ground realities, I don't want to comment on that. I may be wrong.
    
"I think the state is competent enough to handle the law and order situation and they will do it," he said.