M A I N   N E W S

Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Manpreet fails to appear before SAD disciplinary committee
Akali Dal says retaining him not good for the party
Show-cause notices issued to his supporters — MLAs Jagbir Singh Brar and Manjinder Singh Kang

Bound legally too

The legal framework is also loaded against Manpreet Badal. The tenth schedule of the constitution, the anti-defection law and the Supreme Court judgment in the G Viswanathan versus Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker case make it clear that he cannot form his own party or join any other party. Manpreet will also be under the purview of the SAD party whip, defying which could lead to his disqualification from the Assembly. This means if the former FM wants to go on his own, he will have to resign his Assembly seat and seek re-election.

Chandigarh, October 20
Taking the challenge posed by Manpreet Singh Badal to its logical conclusion, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today expelled the former Punjab Finance Minister from the primary membership of the party.

And the two MLAs who had been standing by Manpreet all this while -- Jagbir Singh Brar from Jalandhar Cantonment and Manjinder Singh Kang from Beas -- have been served show-cause notices to explain their conduct before the party’s disciplinary committee by November 10.

It was Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal who took the final decision to expel his cousin after the five-member SAD disciplinary panel, headed by Rural Development Minister Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, recommended the action today.

SAD spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said Manpreet had been expelled for anti-party activities and public utterances.

Earlier in the day, Manpreet failed to present himself before the committee, which waited for him for over an hour after convening at the party office here at 11 am.

Brahmpura said the decision to recommend Manpreet’s expulsion was unanimous. He said it was felt that keeping the former Finance Minister in the party would prove to be “dangerous” for the organisation under the present circumstances. “He refused to recognise the committee and went on addressing press conferences despite the fact that he had been explicitly directed to desist from making any statement.”

Senior leader and committee member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa opined that despite being given several chances to retract, Manpreet had defied everyone, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. All the committee members, including Gurdev Singh Badal, Tota Singh and Balwinder Singh Bhundur, participated in the meeting.

Notably, Manpreet’s downfall in the SAD began soon after he spoke in the media about the central debt-waiver proposal. He also indirectly challenged Sukhbir Badal’s leadership. Subsequently, the party’s political affairs committee criticised his outburst, to which he retaliated by reiterating his stand. A disciplinary committee to look into his case was formed thereafter, which too he treated lightly. The committee met twice before suspending him from the party, a decision that also led to his exit from the ministry. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s press conference yesterday in which he countered Manpreet’s claims on debt waiver created the final ground for his ouster from the SAD today.





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