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My agenda is tough, not suited to electoral policy. I’d like to prick conscience of Punjabis

As the last of the television crews leave the sprawling official residence of former Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, a police posse seem uninterested in the visitors coming in still. Manpreet sits with a handful of his supporters and father Gurdas Badal, who has come to be with him in this difficult hour. Visibly tired, Manpreet says he has not slept for the past 24 hours. Excerpts from an interview with Vipin Pubby:

Is it the end of the road for you as far as the Shiromani Akali Dal is concerned?

I am a born Akali but I have been left with no choice. Probably I would be expelled from the party in a day or so. There was no window left for me for an honourable exit.

You had taken up cudgels in the past too but had retracted when things got hot.

Yes I have been accused in the past of lacking the guts and courage to take the plunge but I had always clung to a slender thread of hope that somehow I shall be able to convince my party colleagues. I am heartbroken now and appeared to have reached a dead-end after losing the confidence of the Chief Minister.

But as a partyman, why have you declined to present yourself before the disciplinary committee?

The party’s disciplinary committee cannot question any minister. All ministers are answerable to the Chief Minister and the Cabinet and not the party, which can seek explanation if say, one disregards a whip or indulges in indiscipline. As the FM, I had to advise the party that we can’t sustain with the state running a revenue deficit of over Rs 5,000 crore.

Read rest of the interview at–not-suited-to-electoral-policy–I-d-like-to-prick-conscience-of-Punjabis-/697758/

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