Could re-run for Punjab’s sake, says Capt
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today said he was ready for a longer innings in politics and could re-run for office, “for Punjab’s sake.” He had announced during campaigning that the February 2017 Assembly elections would be his last. Talking to The Tribune here today, the CM said he did not rule out running for yet another term to bring the state back on the rails. “I will be 80 when my term ends. I had thought enough is enough. But things turned out to be much worse than I had anticipated. Having won a two-third majority, we have to honour the people’s mandate — which is to improve the state’s fiscal health.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)“We told the people that the state’s debt stood at Rs 1,30,000 crore. It turned out it was Rs 2,08,000 crore. The fiscal deficit is Rs 34,000 crore and revenue deficit Rs 13,000 crore. I am committed to bringing the state out of this mess and will not leave the people in the lurch,” he said. He expressed unhappiness at the decision of some Congress MPs to boycott the meeting chaired by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra to discuss the state’s parliamentary agenda. “I can understand Opposition MPs not showing up, but the Congress MPs should have been present.It is an ego issue,” he said, contradicting the claim that Mohindra was not senior enough to convene the meeting. Reiterating that any talks between states on the issue of stubble-burning would not yield any results, he lambasted Delhi and Haryana Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal and ML Khattar for playing “street politics”. “They are resorting to theatrics instead of striving for long-term solutions,” he remarked, claiming that while Punjab had utilised Rs 30 crore of Central funds for tackling crop residue, Delhi had failed to utilise its funds meant for environmental protection. “This indicates complete lack of seriousness on the part of the AAP government.”Capt said elections to the municipal corporations of Jalandhar, Amritsar and Patiala and 36 municipal councils would be held in mid-December and for the Ludhiana civic body in February next.