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Politics Expelled By Akali Dal, Embraced By People

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Expelled by Akali Dal, embraced by people

Punjab Newsline Network - Sunday, 14 November 2010

By Satinder Bains

CHANDIGARH: It is phenomenal rise for Manpreet Badal, former Punjab Finance Minister, a rebel, who was accorded an unprecedented welcome by people of Punjab after being expelled from Shiromani Akali Dal and the government. Even late Gurcharan Singh Tohra former SGPC President, an Akali stalwart, failed to stand an onslaught by ruling Shiromani Akali Dal after being expelled from party in 1999.

An estimated crowd of about 75,000 people who volunteered to back up Manpreet Badal during his visit to Amritsar on Sunday is itself an explanation of anti-incumbancy factor prevailing in the state. The most of the supporters of Manpreet Badal who turned up at Amritsar were young faces. This may be an indication for the change in present political set up in the state.

Manpreet Badal seems to have touched the nerve of people of Punjab by raising all those issue which the SAD-BJP government has failed to address in last four years. Surprisingly, SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal in late evening issued a statement saying that the so-called new agenda announced by Manpreet Singh Badal was “a mere re-iteration of the programmes and policies of the Shiromani Akali Dal.” If it is so this is height of political bankruptcy. It is right of critics of Akali Dal to ask, why all these issues were not addresswed by ruling party so far ?

The SAD statement has described the Amritsar developments a 'flop show'. The intelligence agencies governed by Punjab Government and directly controlled by deputy Chief Minister who is also home minister have reproted that over 50,000 from various parts of Punjab reached Amritsar. Even for a ruling party, it would be difficult to match the spirit and score of Mnapreet Badal by using all government machinery.

SAD President said, “All the points that figure on the so-called new agenda form not just a part of the party’s programmes but also feature on its manifestoes for the 2002 and 2007 elections. Manpreet Singh needs to tell the people as to what did he do as minister to achieve these goals.”

The issues raised by Manpreet Badal are those which so far failed to get attention of the Akali Dal government. The corruption and politicization of police, he described as major issues which are preventing new investment from coming to Punjab. He elaborated that induistrialists who wants to come to Punjab are not allowed to invest unless they pay the protection money and the NRI's main assett of the state are not ready to invest in Punjab because they have no surety that their properties would be safe. The properites of NRI's are grabbed and false cases are registered against them.

Manpreet Badal has talked about drung menace in the state. If it is on the agenda of SAD, why action is not taken to curb the drug smuggling ? Manpreet Badal has pinpointed the poor state of primary education and health system in the state. Is this false statement ? He said that no attention is being paid remove illeteracy, poverty and unemployment. The youth fo Punjab is unable to contribute in nation building due to lack of skill power. The lack of opportunities in the state are forcing the youth to go abroad and get exploited. It was due to resistant by Manpreet Badal that Punjab government couldn't extend the retirement age of employees from 58 to 60 years.

Manpreet Badal says that jobs in government are available but money is not there to pay salaries. He attributes low revenue reciept to theft of taxes. The critics of present government has the right to ask why theft of taxes is not being stopped effectively. Manpreet Badal may be right in his assertion that if tax collection is made effective, there will be no need to impose more taxes, rather the taxes can be lowered.

Sukhbir Badal has said that the points raised by Manpreet Badal were part of the SAD manifesto in 2002 and 2007 elections. Is this not shameful enough to tell people that party has failed to address these issues even in nine years time ?

The state government has indeed no answer to the points raised by Manpreet Badal. If Manpreet Badal tells people that in the last four years no industrial investment has came to Punjab, what is wrong in it. The fact is that dureing first four years of governance, the state has failed to notify industrial policy. A state which depends on agriculture, has no agriculture policy. The government has notified the sports policy but the medal winners of national games of 2006 and common wealth Games are not paid their award money. The state has failed to present Maharaja Ranjit Singh award for outstanding players during first four years.

Manpreet Badal has touched the interference of police in day to day life and political patronage to the police officials. He highlighted that chain of command has broken-SHO is not answerable to SSP and SSP is not answerable to DGP because all have their own political bosses.

Manpreet Badal has rightly said that to give more opportunity to youth, 50 percent seats in assembly must be reserved for youth, women and no MLA shall be allowed to become minister for more than two terms and two blood relations shall be members of same cabinet. Punjab is perhaps the only exception in the country where Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal are members of cabinet at a time. The critics can ask Sukhbir Badal-was this item part of SAD manifesto ?

Manpreet Badal has chalked out his political agenda very carefully to ensure that it appeals to common people. For instance he says there should not be any liquor vend in the periphery of villages. This is one of the major demand of many villages which the SAD-BJP government is ignoring for the last four years. Like he calls to end the VIP culture in the state. Incidently, even being a minister Manpreet Badal used to drive alone to his office and market for shopping. Even now while campaigning, he drives himself. Another example is food and supply minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon-the son-in-law of Chief Minister- who drives himselg with security in the city. The critics can ask Sukhbir Badal why he needs a cavalcade of two or three dozen cars and police vehicles, when he goes for court apperance or where ever he goes ?

The ain achivement of Manpreet Badal may be his subjective approach and his stress against personality cult. He has started a new debate on issue based politics. The Jago Punjab Yatra to be taken up by Manpreet Badal from November 24 is expected to set the alarm bells for ruling party. Either deliver or vanish.

source: http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/expelled-akali-dal-embraced-people/26006



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