Manpreet ready to contest against Badal
Jalandhar October 18:
Former Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, who was recently sacked from the state Cabinet and suspended from the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for anti-party activities indicated that he might float a new party.
Talking to reporters here, Mr Badal said he would form a party only at an appropriate time and was waiting for the right time in this regard. Participating in a Dussehra programme at Jalandhar, he told reporters that he was assessing the political situation in the state and would put his agenda before the people.
To a question, the expelled leader said he had no plans to join the Congress as it would be like getting down from one political train hastily and immediately boarding another. Mr Badal accused the Punjab government and SAD of indulging in 'petty activities' to discourage him and his supporters shortly after he walked away from the government.
He alleged that his office at Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh was ransacked, his supporters were warned against attending his public meeting in Gidderbaha yesterday and a Gurdwara in Kahnuwan town of Gurdaspur district was locked, where he was supposed to address his supporters. Putting locks on a Gurdwara was against the Sikh tenets, he said and added he would raise this matter at the Akal Takht.
To a question, Mr Manpreet said he had no intention to bring down the SAD-BJP government in the state but only wanted to highlight the truth with regard to the Central offer of debt waiver to Punjab. The removal of the Finance Minister came in the wake of his statements questioning the fiscal prudence of the SAD-BJP government for not being keen to accept the proposed offer of the Centre on a debt waiver of Rs 35,000 crore on certain conditions. The Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister and state chief secretary S C Agarwal later denied that the Centre had made any offer on debt waiver to Punjab.
Regarding the feelers sent by Akali Dal 1920 and Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal), Mr Manpret Badal said he did not want to comment on this matter as yet. The expelled leader had addressed a meeting of his supporters and well wishers in Gurdwara Guptsar in Chhatteana village in Gidderbaha constituency. The meeting was addressed by Jalandhar Cantt MLA Jagbir Singh Brar, former MLA Khushaldeep Singh and former MP Gurdas Singh Badal, father of Manpreet Singh, among others.