The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which rules Punjab in alliance with the BJP, has expressed concerns over the possible negative impact Modi government’s demonetisation drive may have on their prospects in assembly elections early next year.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal were apprehensive of fuelling an apparent anti-incumbency sentiment in the state.
“SAD has intimated the Finance Ministry and the BJP that the current cash crunch, if not eased in the next 10-15 days, will have a considerable impact on their chances in the forthcoming elections,” sources said.
The party has officially backed the demonetisation move but Sukhbir Badal acknowledged that people were facing difficulties. He had said he would urge the Union Finance Ministry to smoothen cash flow to Punjab.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was in Adampur to lay the foundation stone of a civilian airport, reiterated the benefits of demonetization but refrained from addressing demonetisation-related concerns.
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“The Badals impressed upon Jaitley to streamline cash flow so as to avoid anti-government sentiment,” sources said.
Some Akali ministers too were reportedly of the view that if the demonetisation fallout wasn’t dealt with quickly, it may add to people’s anger against the SAD-BJP combine.
Sensing the public mood, Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh has reiterated that farmers were going through a “crisis” due to lack of liquidity in the market.
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