Punjab’s Finance Minister Manpreet Badal made a scathing a ttack on SAD leaders Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia on Wednesday, the concluding day of budget session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha. Referring to CAG reports, he refuted SAD leaders’ allegations of fudging figures in the budget he presented.
The Speaker adjourned the session for 20 minutes as Manpreet Badal continued with his tirade against the Badals and Majithia even as Akali leaders led by Majithia sought to speak on other issues.
It all started when Akali leaders trooped to the well of the House carrying placards the moment Manpreet started his address. Manpreet dared them to stay and listen to his speech.
He said the Majithia family had given a car purchased on instalments when Majithia’s sister [union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal] was married “in our family” (to Manpreet’s cousin Sukhbir Badal). He went on to say Majithia now travelled in cars worth Rs 1 crore.
In an apparent reference to Parkash Singh Badal’s wife Surinder Kaur Badal who died after battling cancer, Manpreet said that state government arranged for her treatment. He also said the former CM went to the US for a health check-up before the counting of votes of February 2017 Assembly polls and the state had to spend Rs 40 lakh on it.
Manpreet said [former Haryana CM] Devi Lal had given 18 acres for a 7-star hotel of Badals. “It was an SYL deal.”
“Those who sided with the British and who gave cars taken on instalments to the daughter on her wedding, who used government cars are raising fingers at me,” Manpreet said.
Reacting to Akalis allegations that he did not know how to run finances, Manpreet said, “I do not know how to run buses, how to construct hotels, and how to loot the treasury of Punjab.”
Manpreet said he had presented six budgets.
As the House was adjourned for 20 minutes, Majithia held a press conference in the press gallery of Vidhan Sabha and said, “government’s failure and seriousness was clear from the speech of finance minister.”
He said before scrutinising bills of the Badal family, Manpreet should also check bills of elders in his family. Majithia said SAD wanted to talk about a dissenting note by party MLA Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra to the committee which submitted a report on farm and labour suicides. He said every MLA had the right to point of order to raise an issue, but SAD MLAs were not allowed.
In the resumed session, Manpreet, reading out figures from CAG report and making comparison, refuted Akalis’ allegations that he had fudged the budget figures. He said as compared to SAD-BJP government, the Congress government had reduced the state’s committed liabilities by 10 per cent. He said total receipts for the current financial year would see an increase of 30 per cent.