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Badal vs Badal in Punjab Assembly


Press Trust of India Chandigarh
Punjab minister Manpreet Singh Badal and his estranged cousin and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal engaged in war of words in Punjab Assembly on Monday on the financial condition of the state under Congress rule, leading to a brief adjournment of the House.
Ruling Congress members and SAD-BJP legislators stood up in support of their respective leaders, pointed fingers and shouted slogans against each other, resulting in acrimonious scenes on the concluding day of the budget session.
Winding up the discussion on budget estimates, Manpreet Badal slammed the previous Akali-BJP dispensation for pushing the state into a "debt trap" and rebutted Akali's charges of "exaggerating income and suppressing expenditure" and "fudged figures" in budget proposals with relevant data.
However, Sukhbir Badal hit out at Manpreet Badal for trying to show "improvement" in the fiscal situation and said he is not "fit" to be finance minister as he had "no knowledge" of the subject.
"My brother (Manpreet) has been given the wrong department. He has done his MA (History) and as per his qualification, he should have been allotted tourism portfolio. He does not know about finance," alleged the former state deputy chief minister.
Manpreet Badal responded saying the previous government did nothing except "looting" Punjab.
"(Partap Singh) Kairon Sahib served Punjab as CM for about eight years and he was still remembered for his work. (Parkash Singh) Badal Sahib remained CM for almost 19 years and nobody remembers him. They did nothing except looting Punjab," he alleged.
To this, Sukhbir Badal reminded his cousin that he became an MLA because of Parkash Singh Badal, a claim denied by the finance minister.
"I would not have been sitting here, had he had his way," Manpreet Badal said.
As the cousins continued, Congress members led by minister Navjot Singh Sidhu came out in support of Manpreet Badal, while SAD-BJP legislators rose on their feet and shouted slogans against the FM.
The Speaker's pleas for calm went unheard by both political parties.
The Speaker then adjourned the proceedings for 15 minutes.
Earlier, Manpreet Badal dismissed the Akali Dal charge that the budget was a "bundle of lies".
Instead of calling Sukhbir Badal by name, Manpreet Badal called him "MLA Jalalabad".
"They (SAD-BJP government) used mandi board, PIDB funds on Sangat Darshan programme and they were out of purview of auditor general," he alleged.
Manpreet Badal also charged the previous government with monopolizing liquor trade.
Sukhbir Badal described the budget proposals as "fabricated" and claimed they did not talk about outstanding payment of power subsidy bill, unfunded gap of Rs 4,323 crore.

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First Published: Feb 25 2019 | 8:55 PM IST

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