Manpreet floats new party

Last Updated: Sunday, March 27, 2011 - 20:43

Khatkar Kalan: More than five
months after his expulsion from the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal
on disciplinary grounds, Punjab`s former finance minister
Manpreet Singh Badal today floated his own political party
named Peoples Party of Punjab (PPP).

Addressing a gathering after launching the new party, he
said citing its Constitution that no one older than 70 years
in the party will hold a ministerial position and its
president shall have zero tolerance to corruption and shall
function strictly according to meritocracy.

"The constitution of the party has been framed in a
manner that there is no scope for any corrupt element to
enter. Likewise, nepotism and dynasty system have been
vehemently discouraged," Manpreet, who resigned from the state
Assembly yesterday, said.

Manpreet had been expelled from SAD on October 20 last
year for alleged breach of party discipline after he fell out
with the leadership over the issue of a proposed debt waiver
to the state from the Centre.

Citing the PPP`s Constitution, he said it states that no
party member, on reaching the age of 70 years, will hold a
position of office as a Minister, Speaker, Parliamentary
Secretary in the Union or the State Council of Ministers.

Similarly, it says that no party member will hold a
position of office as a Minister, Speaker, Parliamentary
Secretary in the Union or the State Council of Ministers if
his/her blood relative is appointed to any of the high
positions, he said.

The constitution of PPP also limits the tenure of persons
holding positions within the party to a maximum of 10 years.

"These are some of the provisions that we have
incorporated as a safeguard from future degradation and are to
be strictly observed. No one, not even me, is outside the
purview of these norms. Apart from the constitution, we have
issued a detailed party agenda, which states that PPP shall
steer clear from communalism and divisive agenda," said Badal.

He added that there are detailed yardsticks of conduct
for all members. "Anyone found wanting shall be severely dealt
with and would be asked to leave the party. There simply isn`t
any scope for people with suspect credentials," he said.

"My vision for Punjab is not that of a state where roads
and minds are so narrow that you have to deferentially make
way for cavalcades and cacophony of red beaconed VIPs. I dream
of a Punjab where we all walk together, hand in hand, shoulder
to shoulder," he said.

Earlier at the launch of the party, Abhey Singh Sandhu
and Bharat Bhushan Thapar, the nephews of Shaheed Bhagat Singh
and Shaheed Sukhdev respectively, offered their unequivocal
support to Manpreet`s PPP.

He said despite the administration`s every conceivable
attempt to dissuade and coerce people from not attending the
rally today, people had gathered in huge numbers. "This shows
people are fed up with the system and looking for change", he


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First Published: Sunday, March 27, 2011 - 20:43

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