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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Won't contest 2024 Lok Sabha polls, says Congress leader Navjot Sidhu

Attacking the AAP government in Punjab over rising debt, law and order, Sidhu accused the Bhagwant Mann government of deviating from “burning issues of the state”

PTI Chandigarh Published 16.12.23, 07:13 PM
Navjot Singh Sidhu

Navjot Singh Sidhu File photo

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu Saturday said he will not contest the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress leader, however, refrained from saying if his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu will contest the general elections. Sidhu, a former MP, had lost the 2022 assembly elections from Amritsar East seat.

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"Sidhu is not contesting Lok Sabha (polls)," the former Punjab Congress chief told reporters in Bhatinda.

When asked if his wife was going to contest next year’s elections, the former cricketer said “only she could answer that question”.

Attacking the AAP government in Punjab over rising debt, law and order, Sidhu accused the Bhagwant Mann government of deviating from “burning issues of the state”.

Sidhu said contractual workers have been holding 'dharnas' demanding the regularisation of their services while government employees are protesting seeking the implementation of the old pension scheme.

More than a year has passed since the notification on the OPS has been issued, but the government has failed to implement it, said Sidhu, adding that the Congress government has already implemented the OPS in Himachal Pradesh.

Not only employees, farmers in the state are also holding protests, he said.

Sidhu alleged that the Mann government was not using central funds for the assigned purposes, due to which the Union government has withheld funds worth Rs 8,000 crore for Punjab.

Repairing of roads in rural areas have come to a standstill as rural development funds worth Rs 5,500 crore have been withheld, the Congress leader said.

The Centre has withheld Rs 621 crore under the National Health Mission, Rs 850 crore of mandi development fund and Rs 1,800 crore of special assistance fund for the state, he said.

The Centre has said that they are not using funds for the assigned purposes, Sidhu claimed.

He alleged that the state government does not have funds even to contribute its 40 per cent share in a central scheme.

Hitting out at the Mann government over "rising" debt of the state, Sidhu said the government has so far raised Rs 60,000 crore of debt, which will increase to Rs 70,000 crore in next three more months.

Before coming to power, the AAP had said that it would repay the outstanding debt, he said, adding that the state was being pushed towards financial emergency.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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