M A I N   N E W S

Manpreet Badal may quit his assembly seat this week
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Will the Punjab ex-finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal attend the coming Budget session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha? The 22-day session starts on March 4 and Budget estimates will be presented in on March 14. Manpreet Singh Badal, who authored the first four budgetary estimates of the present SAD-BJP government, in all probability will skip the session.

He is scheduled to launch a new party at Khatkar Kalan, the birth place of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, on March 23, two days before the last Budget session of the current assembly concludes.

If sources close to him are to be believed, Manpreet Singh Badal is all set to quit his Gidderbaha Assembly seat either this week or the early next week as he has reportedly no intention of attending the Budget session.

After his resignation is accepted and the Assembly seat held by him declared vacant, the authorities concerned will be required to inform the Election Commission about the vacancy.

While the sources maintain that since less than a year remains for the present Assembly to complete its term, there is no possibility of holding a byelection to the seat to be vacated by him. They quote a recent Supreme Court ruling in support of their claim.

They reveal that they have been consulting some top experts in Constitutional law and maintain that this was the main reason for the former finance minister to delay quitting his Assembly seat. He is not keen on a byelection, but wants to focus on the larger battle of the ballot ahead.

There was general belief that in case an Assembly seat remains vacant for more than six months, the Election Commission could order a byelection. Elections to the Punjab Assembly are due in February 2012.

After expulsion from the party, Manpreet is virtually a free bird as he is no more covered by a party whip.





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