Badals spent Rs 121 Crore on travelling in private choppers: Navjot Singh Sidhu
Chandigarh, July 16: Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday accused the Badal family of the Shiromani Akali Dal of spending a whopping Rs 121 crore on travelling in private helicopters during their 10-year rule in the state, and said he would request Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to order a probe into it.
The local bodies minister made these allegations based on information procured by Daljit Singh Gilzian, the son of Congress MLA Sangat Singh Gilzian, through an RTI query.
"The Badal family spent Rs 121 crore on private helicopter travels during the period between 2007 till 2017," Sidhu told reporters here.
They also spent about Rs 7 crore on government helicopter, claimed Sidhu.
"I was shocked to know about huge spending on chartered flights (by Badal family). The money was spent at a time when the financial position of the state was quite poor," he said.
Sidhu said he will seek inquiry from the chief minister and Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal in the matter.
Asked if the CM and ministers could not travel in private helicopters for official visits, Sidhu replied, "One can go by planes but he is not entitled to travel through chartered flights by spending a huge sum of amount. When the government owns a helicopter, then why are you spending lavishly on chartered flights."
"For a government visit, one should use government helicopter," he said.
Sidhu said that in the last nine months, the Congress government on contrary has spent only Rs 22 lakh on government chopper.
"No chartered plane is hired by the present Captain Amarinder Singh-led government for any official purpose," Sidhu said.
Punjab cabinet minister further accused former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal of claiming "time-barred" travelling allowance to the tune of Rs 7.97 lakh for the medical treatment of his wife Surinder Kaur Badal in USA in 2010.
Gilzian, who was accompanied by Sidhu, claimed that an amount of Rs 14 crore was spent on the vehicle used by former CM Parkash Singh Badal and former deputy CM and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal during March 2012 to December 2013.