Updated: June 7, 2021 5:23:11 am
SPEAKING PUBLICLY for the first time about the infighting in Punjab Congress, state Finance Minister Manpreet Badal on Sunday said Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh is the present “Captain of Punjab”.
Asked to comment on the issue while on a visit to Dharamkot, Moga, to inaugurate some projects, he said: “It is for the party high command to decide who will lead Congress in upcoming Punjab polls, who will be the CM face, but right now, Capt Amarinder is the Captain of Punjab…”
Asked about the simmering tensions between the CM and Navjot Singh Sidhu, Manpreet told The Indian Express over phone: “It is just like misunderstandings that happen between a father and a son. It is all within the family. Both of them have age gap of at least 20 years. So many fights happen within a family. It is the same situation here too.”
He further said, “I have no locus standi to comment on who will be the face of Congress in upcoming Punjab polls. It is for the party high command to decide. I am the finance minister of Punjab only because of the party. But yes it is a fact that currently, Capt Amarinder Singh is the Captain of Punjab.”
On Punjab’s financial health, Manpreet said that it would be the first time in 22 years that the state’s capital expenditure will be more than Haryana’s: “We will be spending Rs 14,000 crore on development works in Punjab whereas Haryana’s capital expenditure for 2021-22 is Rs 8,000 crore. Seeing the situation that Punjab was in four years ago when the Congress government had taken over, humne kishti ko ek kinaara to de diya hai… (we have managed to bring the ship to shore). We were under huge debt when we started but today our capital expenditure has exceeded that of Haryana.”
He further said that the 6th Pay Commission will be implemented from July 1 in Punjab.
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