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Manpreet Badal’s removal unfortunate

I agree with the views expressed in the editorial “Victory for populism: Manpreet loses out to politics” (Oct 14). Mr Manpreet Badal has been dumped without any reason. Like a visionary he wanted to serve the interests of the state. What sin did he commit if with the concurrence of the Chief Minister, he held talks with the Centre to pull the state out of the prevailing financial crisis? Concrete talks were on with the Centre for achieving a substantial debt waiver and the Centre was ready to agree on some “conditions”. The SAD leaders close to the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister did not like this to happen and deliberately isolated him on the issue. Ultimately, “vote politics” and “populism” became victorious and Mr Manpreet Badal was dropped from the Cabinet.

This shows that all is not well with the SAD. Will the leadership of the SAD tell the people why has Punjab’s debt shot up from Rs 48,000 crore to Rs 70,000 crore? What economic measures does the state government propose to improve the financial health of the state?

Whatever has happened in the SAD is due to the lack of inner-party democracy. Why doesn’t the SAD discuss the “waiver issue” in the party forums with an open mind? It can also discuss the issue with other parties by calling an all-party meeting? Subsidies can be retained for the needy people. Talks with the Centre can be held on the imposition of “conditions”.

Ultimately, the SAD-BJP government will have to think seriously about the ways to improve the financial health of the state. It must welcome all those who try to think of “out of the box” solutions. The state’s interests cannot be sacrificed for “votes.”


Say ‘no’ to smoking 

Smoking is one of the most addictive habits adopted by man (middle, “Confessions of a reformed smoker” by Amrit Sethi, Oct 14). Smoking not only harms you but also those around you. Smoking can accelerate the ageing process and shorten the lifespan.

There are estimated 1.1 billion smokers in the world, 800 million of them in developing countries. Every day, around 1,000 people are dying because of smoking.

Despite warnings on cigarette packets, people do not stop smoking. Smoking has become a fashion. Television and cinema can play a vital role in motivating the people to stop this fatal habit.

HARISH DIDO, Chandigarh


It is unfortunate that Mr Manpreet Singh Badal was dropped from the Cabinet by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. All this while Mr Manpreet Badal continued to perform the onerous task of balancing political pressures with economic compulsions.

He has to his credit an unblemished record of four years as the Finance Minister who has kept the interests of Punjab above everything else. The SAD should have given him a chance to explain his viewpoint. It appears that he has not failed as a finance minister but the Punjab government has failed in the economics of politics.

Dr S K AGGARWAL, Amritsar


In today’s politics it is difficult for an honest and straightforward politician to survive. It goes to the credit of Mr Manpreet Badal that he survived for almost four years.

He may have lost the battle but the war is yet to begin. He will be a great asset to the nation in the coming years. He was trying to do the best under the prevailing circumstances.

One cannot completely get rid of populist measures but it is time to contain them. Mr Manpreet Badal was doing the same. 

V K GUPTA, Kurukshetra


The present crisis in Punjab reminds us of the Mahabharata days when family feuds turned ugly. It is the obligation of the Finance Minister to give his opinion on financial matters and it is the prerogative of the government to accept it or not.

Mr Manpreet Singh Badal is not wrong in asserting that in financial matters the Finance Minister should be given more elbow room. To him heavy expenditure on subsides is financial imprudence but to the ruling alliance it is a magnet to attract voters. The fact is the government is not accustomed to be led by any wise finance minister.

Mr Manpreet Badal’s integrity has cost him his portfolio. This is not the time to get embroiled in feuds and lose sight of the serious issue of state tax burden. The editorial has rightly remarked that politics has prevailed over sound economics. Enlightened voters are wary of the present crisis. The government has to act fast to get out of the imbroglio.



The removal of Mr Manpreet Badal is deplorable. Every right-minded individual should feel concerned about this. It is not only SAD that has been playing the politics of patronage and subsidies, but almost every other political group striving for power is playing this dangerous game. This must end here and now and the BJP which is in coalition with SAD must take the initiative to save Punjab that was once a prosperous state.



The ‘sonstroke’ is fast turning into an epidemic in Indian politics and is threatening to paralyse the polity. Barring the Left parties this disease has afflicted every political party and its leadership. Politicians cease to see anything beyond their family.

The way Mr Manpreet Badal was treated reflects the worst symptom of the disease. He was first suspended from the party and subsequently sacked from the government for “party indiscipline”, a convenient alibi. However, Mr Manpreet Badal has certainly scored a point.





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