Chandigarh: A day after his party got a miserable drubbing in the Assembly
polls, Peoples Party of Punjab chief Manpreet Singh Badal on Wednesday accused Shiromani
Akali Dal (SAD) of using money power to garner votes.
"A big factor that went against PPP was the use of money
power by SAD to come to power," he said at a press conference
after his party failed to open its account in the 117-member
state Assembly. PPP had 92 candidates in fray.
He alleged that SAD spent around Rs 8 to Rs 10 crore
in each of the Assembly constituencies to woo voters.
"This entire money spent to woo voters by the SAD had
been used from the Punjab coffers...they looted around Rs
10,000 crore just to win over state...I am for sure that the
SAD-BJP government will not be able to pay salaries to its
employees in the month of March," he said.
"One of the biggest problems faced by the PPP during
polls was it could not match the money power of established
parties," he alleged adding that "it’s an open secret that
Akalis and Congress spent close to Rs 4,000 crore to put up a
good defence at the hustings".
He strongly said that the Election Commission of India
(ECI) needed to address the problem of money power. "The SAD
could perform well only due to money power," he alleged.
However, the SAD refuted allegations of Manpreet, an
estranged nephew of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Answering a question on Congress President Sonia
Gandhi`s reported remark in Delhi that PPP cut into the vote
bank of the party, Manpreet denied the charge.
"We cut into the vote bank of both Akalis and the
Congress and it was unintentional," he said.
"To protect our party`s ideology it was important that
our vote share is credible...our idea in the assembly polls
was to prop up a party...bigger parties like Congress and BJP
took several years to get established," he said.
On his party`s loss, he said that people of Punjab
ignored issues like corruption, drugs, economy and
unemployment while exercising their franchise.
"No sector doing well during the Akalis regime and people
of Punjab will realise this in the coming few months," he
Adopting a tough posture despite poor performance of PPP,
he said "our party will play an active role of opposition