With en estranged member of the most powerful political family in Punjab, Badals, putting a question mark over the morals of six-time former Chief Minister (CM) Parkash Singh Badal’s immediate family, an ugly war of words has broken out in the clan.
Starting the slugfest on the concluding day of the just concluded budget session of the Assembly, Punjab finance minister (FM), Manpreet Singh Badal (estranged nephew of former CM Badal) said his uncle’s was right in questioning his credentials as the FM as like them he doesn’t know the art of looting and ruining the state for personal gains.
Questioning the Badal family’s ethics, Manpreet alleged despite owning luxury hostels, transport company and several profit making businesses, when his aunt (Badal’s wife) died, the expenditure for food for the people attending the final prayers (bhog at the antim ardas ceremony) was borne by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.
Manpreet, who was expelled from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in 2010 and joined the Congress in 2016 after merging his People Party of Punjab into the party, said likewise, former CM Badal used private room at an airport in the US for fifteen minutes and the Punjab government had to pay Rs 40 lakh for it.
Likewise, the FM said despite super rich, the Badal family claimed its medical bills of treatment in the US from the treasury. A former FM in SAD-BJP government, Manpreet said being a part of the Badal family, he knows many such things which expose the true character of the Badals.
Hitting back, SAD president and Manpreet’s cousin, Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday said the FM should either prove the allegations of SGPC arranging for the bhog at the antim ardas ceremony of his mother Surinder Kaur Badal or quit politics.
“I offer to quit politics forever if Manpreet can prove his allegation on this score. Otherwise, he should either prove his charges or agree to quit politics. I dare him to accept my challenge,” Sukhbir said.
The Akali president said that he was amused to see Manpreet acting and speaking with the bitterness of a jealous man. He said Manpreet has betrayed his own family and benefactors.
Sukhbir said that he was amazed and saddened to see Manpreet openly declaring that he was proud to play a traitor to the Badal family to win more laurels in the Congress party.
The SAD president said Manpreet was made the FM of the state by his father (Badal), which is the number two position in the cabinet after the CM. “And this is how Manpreet repays his elderly, father-like uncle..” he said.