Chandigarh, March 9 (IANS) Two AAP MPs from Punjab on Wednesday offered to pay from their MPLADS funds the expenses borne on the deployment of paramilitary forces during a terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force Station in January.
The offer by Aam Aadmi Party’s Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann and Faridkot MP Sadhu Singh came after a union home ministry communication to the Punjab government to pay Rs.6.35 crore for the deployment of central forces during the terror attack in the first week of January.
Mann has written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, asking him not to put financial burden on Punjab for the fight against terrorists who crossed over from Pakistan before their attack in Pathankot.
“If the central government is of the view that Punjab is not an integral part of India and the Pathankot terror attack is not an assault on the sovereignty and integrity of the country, then we (Mann and Sadhu Singh) are ready to get Rs.6.35 crore deducted from our Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD) funds,” Mann said.
The ministry of home affairs sent a letter dated January 20 along with a bill of Rs.6.35 crore to the Punjab government, seeking payment for 20 companies of paramilitary forces deployed between January 2 and 27 in Pathankot and nearby areas.
The MHA also asked the Punjab government to bear transportation charges.
“I am shocked to learn from the newspapers that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government has sought money from Punjab for fighting the Pathankot terror attack,” Mann said in his letter.
“Our jawans, both from the army and the paramilitary forces, fought with bravery and courage to thwart the terror attack that came from Pakistan. The land of Punjab has been known for such acts of bravery and a large number of soldiers from Punjab have laid down their lives fighting for their motherland,” Mann pointed out.
Accusing the Narendra Modi government of “not considering Punjab as part and parcel of India”, Mann said: “That is why this time, during the Republic Day parade on January 26, the Sikh Regiment was missing and even the tableau of Punjab depicting its culture has not been selected.”
The AAP leader said Punjab was already reeling under a fiscal debt of Rs.1.25 lakh crore which, he added, would further increase in the days to come.