SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal addresses the media in the Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday.
A remark regarding beggars, which the Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal made on Tuesday while addressing the plight of debt-ridden farmers in the agrarian state brought him on the target of his estranged cousin and the Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal. Condemning Manpreet for ‘comparing families of farmers who had committed suicide with beggars,’ the SAD president declared that Akali Dal would move a privilege motion against him on Thursday.During the debate over the budget speech of the finance minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal alleged that Manpreet Singh Badal, after presenting the budget in the House on Tuesday, held a press conference in which he referred to farmers as “destitute”.“Manpreet said just like one gave alms to a beggar on a red light to make him go away, similarly compensation was given to suicide victim families,” he alleged.
Speaking further, Sukhbir said the finance minister used the word ‘dafa karo’ to explain how one gave money to beggars even though one knew it should not be done. The minister also said he felt families of suicide victims should also be given money on similar lines.
As Manpreet Singh Badal denied the charges, stating that “No sane person can utter such ugly remarks,” the former finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa sought the Speaker’s permission to play a video in the House as evidence to their charge, which the Speaker rejected.However, later in the media gallery, Sukhbir along with his party MLAs played the same, with a mention that “Manpreet would not be allowed to get away with this.”
“His remark was rubbing salt on the wounds of debt-ridden farmers’ families who committed suicides in the past. And the statement came immediately after the presentation of budget in which the FM, going against the CM’s promise to completely waive off the farmers’ crop loan announced the budgetary allocation of mere Rs 1,500 crore for over 10 lakh farmers,” said Sukhbir, while announcing that his party MLAs would move a privilege motion against him.
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