Manpreet sad over expulsion, terms it ‘political murder’

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CHANDIGARH - Former Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal Thursday termed his expulsion from the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal as a “political murder”.

“I strongly believe that nobody is above law. I am sad and dejected at the way in which I have been expelled from the party. This is a political murder and has not happened in the history of Punjab politics before,” said Manpreet, addressing reporters here at his official residence Thursday evening.

He added: “There were differences over financial issues between me and the party. If they had worked over the Government of India’s debt waiver scheme then it would have certainly benefited Punjab.”

Manpreet, a nephew of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, was sacked from the Punjab cabinet last week after his statements on doing away with subsidies and Punjab’s finances and debt write-offs offered by the centre brought him in confrontation with the party’s policies and leadership.

He had demanded that the party should do away with subsidies and freebies to take the state out of a debt trap. He had claimed that the central government had extended a conditional offer of waiving off nearly Rs.35,000 crore.

Talking about his future course of action, Manpreet said: “Now I will go to Darbar Sahib, Durgiana temple and Jalianwala Bagh in Amritsar on Nov 14 to seek directions to decide the further action. I want to assure Punjab people that I will not leave this war in between and take it to some logical conclusion.”

“In Punjab, the cable network and various channels are totally controlled by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. They had run a wrong propaganda that Manpreet was expelled because if his suggestions were implemented then every farmer would have to pay Rs.30,000 per month,” he stated.

Manpreet, 48, an honours graduate from Delhi’s St Stephen’s college and a bar-at-law from London, is known for keeping a low profile life, not even taking armed security cover from the Punjab Police.

“I was frustrated with the way things were going on. Proposal of Government of India was lying pending for 60 days. No urgency regarding that was coming from anywhere,” said Manpreet.

“As the finance minister, luxury was not given to me to sit over it. As a minister I cannot keep it as secret and it was my duty to bring things in the light,” he pointed out.

Filed under: Politics

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