'You're Dumber than I Thought': Punjab CM Engages in War of Words with Union Minister Harsimrat Badal

Harsimrat Badal and Amarinder Singh.

Harsimrat Badal and Amarinder Singh.

The two politicians have been tussling over the issue of GST refund to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on 'langar' for the community kitchen at the Golden Temple.

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal again engaged in a war of words on Twitter over the issue of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund on 'langar'.

Days after describing her as a "compulsive liar", Singh on Wednesday called Badal dumb after she asked him to refund the balance share of the GST collected on items bought for the community kitchen at the Golden Temple to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

"You're even dumber than I thought,” said Singh, tagging Badal in his tweet. “I've clearly said the amount claimed was what we've disbursed. What kind of government did you guys run? You don't even know that money is given against claims and that there's a procedural time taken!”

The state government had on Tuesday released Rs 1.96 crore to the SGPC after which the Union minister had claimed that Rs 1.68 crore was still pending against the items bought for the community kitchen in the Golden Temple.

"Thank you @capt_amarinder for proving me right by finally releasing the 1st installment of Rs 1.96cr of state GST on langar to SGPC today. BTW, total refund claim was of Rs 3.27cr. So respect the Sikh sentiments & release the remaining amount of gurughar's money at the earliest," Harsimrat said in her tweet on Tuesday.

Later on Wednesday, Singh ridiculed Badal for "once again putting her foot in her mouth with her half-baked" facts and accused her of unnecessarily dragging the issue even after "her lies" on the issue were "completely exposed".

"Do you have even a clue as to what you are saying?" Singh asked her.

Pointing out that the langar GST concession was notified by the central government only on August 1, 2018, the chief minister said since the notification, his government had received only four bills from the SGPC, amounting to Rs 1.96 crore.

The government had on Tuesday cleared every single penny of these claims, Singh said in a statement.

He said the remaining bills that Badal was referring to and which amounted to around Rs 1.68 crore pertained to the period prior to the launch of the Seva Bhoj Yojana under which the Centre had waived the GST on community kitchen.

"These bills related to the period from August 1, 2017, to July 31, 2018, for which no notification/circulation was issued by the central government," said Singh, adding that the state had already sought a clarification from the Centre on the issue.

Badal again took to Twitter on Wednesday and said, "With due respect @capt_amarinder, the facts are before the people and no amount of bad mouthing from either side against the other can falsify these. I rest my case satisfied that i have done my bit to get some funds released for Guru's abode at the end of it all."

She further accused Singh of spreading lies and misleading people.

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