Punjab CM hits back at ex-Union minister Harsimrat Kaur

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Chandigarh, Apr 13 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday accused former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal of being a “congenital liar” with a “shameful” “habit of lying, even on the most sensitive of subjects”.

The chief minister hurled the allegation at the SAD leader after she listed some alleged shortcomings in the Covid-19 management by the state government.

Expressing shock at Harsimrat Kaur’s statement, what he called, “pathetic and insensitive attempts” to make “political hay” from the current Covid crisis in the state, Amarinder Singh said, “While all Punjabis know what a congenital liar she is, her comments on the Covid situation have hit a new low.” Harsimrat Kaur on Monday had said the 'widespread shortcomings' in the Covid-19 management pointed out by a central team in several districts of Punjab was a “clear indictment” of the CM.

Instead of choosing to support the government's concerted efforts, which had led to some bright spots on the Covid front, Harsimrat, along with the rest of her party colleagues, including SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, has been continuously indulging in “cheap criticism” of his government on the management of the pandemic, the CM stated in an official statement here.

He said the state's medical community was working day and night to fight the pandemic, which has not spared any state or country.

Singh said the untiring efforts of the medical fraternity has led to some improvement in the situation over the past few days, with Punjab no longer among the top five states contributing the maximum caseload.

As per official data released by the Central government on Monday, 10 states had shown a steep rise in the daily new Covid-19 cases accounting for 80.92 per cent of the new infections reported in 24 hours.

“Punjab was not in the list and has maintained that even today, according to the Centre's data,” said the CM, adding this was a marked improvement over the situation in the state till a few days back.

While Punjab is still a long way from a victory in the battle against Covid, this is a matter of optimism, and a cause for appreciation of all frontline workers who were working hard for the past over one year, he noted.

“But far from appreciating the hard work, dedication and sacrifice of all these workers, all that Harsimrat is worried about is how to take political mileage from the calamity, which has struck her own state and people,” said the chief minister, lambasting the SAD leader over her alleged attempts to undermine the efforts of all these people.

“Does she not realise how such statements are demotivating the frontline workers and all the people of Punjab? Or does she simply not care because her entire focus is on finding excuses to pull down my government?” asked the CM.

“The fact was that the entire nation -- in fact, the world -- was suffering the effect of the pandemic with Punjab being no exception. Some states did better at some time while others showed improvement at others,” he said.

“Harsimrat had conveniently chosen to ignore the hard facts in favour of “frivolous allegations and petty blame-games,” said the CM.

Singh also lashed out at Harsimrat for finding fault with the ban on political gatherings in the state.

While the Congress had voluntarily decided to put off all rallies and gatherings, the Akalis were spreading mayhem by proudly holding such rallies without masks and social distancing of any kind, he said. PTI CHS VSD RAX RAX