Punjab govt would continue subsidies: Sukhbir
Kahnuwan (Punjab): Deputy Chief Minister
Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday said the SAD-BJP government would
continue with subsidies until the economy of debt-ridden farm
community, industry suffering due to "biased" attitude of the
Centre and common people reeling under inflation is put back
Badal, who is also ruling Shiromani Akali Dal chief,
made it clear that the question of withdrawal of any subsidy
or facility being provided to any section of society in the
state does not arise as these were the outcome of SAD-BJP
government’s commitment to the people of the state.
Sukhbir's remarks came a few days after his cousin
Manpreet Singh Badal was sacked as Finance Minister and
expelled from SAD over differences with the party on
subsidies and reported conditional debt waiver offer from the
The stand of Manpreet Badal on ending subsidies in return
for debt waiver programme went against the declared stand of
SAD over the issue.
Addressing a public gathering here Sukhbir reiterated the
resolve of Punjab government to continue pro-poor, pro-farmer
and pro "aam admi" policies and said nobody can force the
state government to go against the basic philosophy of the
Lashing out at Manpreet, the Deputy Chief Minister said
"how can we charge Rs 20 per kg for atta (flour) instead of Rs
4 and Rs 100 per kg for dal (pulses) instead of Rs. 20 from
BPL families? We cannot snatch the bread from the mouth of
poor families unable to feed their families in this Congress-
induced inflation age".
Taking a dig at Manpreet, Sukhbir claimed the former
wanted that government should charge Rs 15-30,000 monthly
power bill from farmers besides stopping free 200 unit power
to Scheduled Caste families.
"Had we acceded to his contentions, free travel to
students and senior citizens would have to be stopped.
Besides, government hospitals would have to charge 250 times
more for a slip instead of present Rs 2 from poor and
needy patients," he said.
Sukhbir Badal said personalities are not important and
it was the party that makes the leaders.
"A leader without the support and platform of the party
is a non-entity and without the roots of party such leaders
cannot survive," he said.