Sukhbir Badal condemned Manpreet Singh Badal for comparing families farmers with beggars
A remark regarding beggars made by Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal while addressing the plight of debt-ridden farmers in the agrarian state has made him the target of his estranged cousin and opposition Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Mr Badal on Wednesday condemned the Finance Minister for "comparing families of farmers who had committed suicide with beggars" and said that that Akali Dal will move a privilege motion against Manpreet Singh Badal.
The Akali Dal president told media in the Punjab assembly press gallery in Chandigarh on Wednesday that the Finance Minister had, in a press conference held on Tuesday, referred to farmers as destitutes.
"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. 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," Sukhbir Singh Badal told media, adding that "Manpreet would not be allowed to get away with this".
"He has heaped insult upon insult on farmers and also rubbed salt on wounds of the farmer's families whose loved ones committed suicide by saying the state was giving them compensation just like one would give alms to a beggar," Sukhbir Singh Badal said.
He said that Punjab had witnessed a spurt in farmer suicides in the last three months with nearly 90 farmers ending their lives and it would have been better if Manpreet Badal and his government has stuck to its promise to effect a complete loan waiver of farmer loans taken from nationalised and cooperative banks and also Arhatiyas (commission agents).
"Instead of doing this Manpreet has announced a fraud in the name of loan waiver by making a provision of Rs 1,500 crore for farmer loans. Loan dues of farmers amount to Rs 90,000 crore and the Rs 1,500 crore allocated by Manpreet is not even enough to pay interest on their loans for three months," he claimed.