More than five months after his expulsion from ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), former Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal today resigned from the state Assembly, saying he wanted a clean break up with the past.
Manpreet, who was elected MLA from Gidderbaha constituency in 2007, on a SAD ticket, has forwarded his four-page resignation to Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon for asking him to take appropriate action.
Manpreet, who was expelled from SAD on October 20 last year for alleged breach of party discipline after he fell out with the leadership over the debt waiver issue, said he had offered to resign from the Vidhan Sabha, as he wanted a clean break up with his past.
"Elections are not like Kumbh da mela (Kumbh fair) which would come after 12 years. I am ready to contest the by-poll in case the Election Commission of India decides to do so. Before taking the decision I consulted the people of my constituency who will anyway make me win again," said Manpreet.
Asked why it took him so long to decide to resign he said the voters of his constituency did not want him to resign and he respected their decision.
"I will begin with a fresh slate. Though technically I can continue as legislator of the SAD and still launch a new party, it would be improper. A firm break with the past is required to create new links with the future. A future where the mind is without fear and head is held high," said Manpreet in the resignation.
On when his other supporters and the SAD MLAs namely Jagbir Singh Brar and Manjinder Singh Kang would resign, Manpreet said they were busy making arrangements for the rally to be organized tomorrow at Khatkar Kalan. However, they too would follow suit soon, he claimed.
He said Punjab Chief Minister appointed him as Finance Minister in 2007. His (CM's) failure to understand that Punjab was debt ridden and the state of Punjab could work together with the Union government to avail of the debt waiver, led to his (CM’s) decision to sack him as finance minister.
He said he was pained at the wisdom of the Chief Minister but added that it was his prerogative.
Reacting to Badal's statement that Punjab was already awakened and there was no need for the Jago Punjab movement, Manpreet said he disagreed.
"There is no limits to awakening. But the old class is afraid that people will be awakened. They want people to remain in a state of slumber," he alleged.
At the end of his resignation letter Manpreet asked the Speaker to transfer whatever salary and allowances and other benefits were still due to him as a legislator to the Chief Minister's relief fund for cancer treatment and let it be his last contribution to Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
Manpreet Singh badal said he was not in favour of holding massive political rallies in future and probably the Khatkar kalan would his last effort to organize a rally of large magnitude.
He said such events not only spoil time and money of the people but also cause inconvenience to the common man.
For Manpreet India is not as developed a nation as China, Thailand, Egypt and even Philippines. However when pointed that there was already an uprising in Egypt and people are living in poor state and even the economy of Philippines was weak Manpreet said he was talking about the earlier days.
Manpreet Singh Badal lost his cool while addressing the press conference in the press gallery of Punjab Vidhan Sabha when he was repeatedly asked to explain why it took him so long to decide to resign.
Seeing the aggressive posturing of the media he even offered to leave midway.
Later, at a separate media interaction, he alleged that the Punjab government was using arm twisting tactics and other methods to thwart his rally tomorrow.
Manpreet Badal Resigns as MLA, to Float New Party
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