Chandigarh, Aug 9: Gurjeet Singh Aujla, the Congress lawmaker from Amritsar, is facing massive flak for donating Rs 20 lakh to a golf club in his constituency.
The Opposition, Shiromani Akali Dal, has accused Aujla of "insulting the plight of farmers" in the state by using the funds under MPLAD (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) for the maintenance of a "luxury amenity", rather than raising the debt burden of the economically downtrodden peasants.
The attack from the Akali Dal was led by the party's president and former CM Parkash Singh Badal, who accused the Congress MP of being "disconnected" from the basic issues being faced by the members of his constituency.
Retaliating to the criticism from the Opposition, Aujla said the Akali Dal is raising a non-issue. Defending the Rs 20 lakh grant to the golf course, the lawmaker claimed that 80 per cent of the club members are ex-servicemen.
"That Golf Course falls in my constituency and any MP can give at least 25 lakhs as a part of his MPLAD funds. Moreover, the golf club consists of 80 per cent ex-servicemen and it is because of them our country is free today," he told news agency ANI.
Aujla further claimed that the golf club offers free membership to 100 children belonging to economically weaker backgrounds.
"100 poor children have been given free membership and training here. I've spent Rs 20 lakh for the benefit of ex-servicemen. Badal Sahab is questioning my intention which means he doesn't like faujis. He has done nothing for the people of Punjab," he added.