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Badal’s lie on Harsimrat induction in cabinet nailed: Bajwa

Chandigarh: The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President, Mr. Partap Singh Bajwa, today said the logic given by the Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, about the induction of his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur badal, in the Narendra Modi cabinet, had come under question following the revelation made by the senior party’s Secretary General, Mr. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa. The PPCC chief said Mr. Badal had attributed her elevation as the Union cabinet minister to her performance during her last tenure as MP as she was the most vocal Akali Dal in the House. He had given the impression that she was picked up by Mr. Modi purely on merit and the dynastic factor had not played any role in this. Mr. Bajwa referred to the statement given by Mr. Dhindsa who had maintained that he had recommended the names of Mr. Balwinder Singh Bhunder, a senior party leader and a Rajya Sabha member and Mr. Prem Singh Chandumajra, who had won from Anandpur Sahib. “None in the Akali Dal can question the authority of Mr. Badal or his son and the party President, Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal. However, the revelations by Mr. Dhindsa nails Mr. Badal’s justification he had given for the induction of his daughter-in-law, which was contrary to the vociferous opposition to dynastic politics by Mr. Modi during the election campaign. In the process, Mr. Badal has ignored Mr. Chandumajra who has been elected for the third time and had been a known face of the Akali Dal during his earlier two terms in the Lok Sabha”, he added. At the same time, he made it clear it was none of his business to question the decisions of the other political parties but the basic issue here was the fact that one of the senior most members of the Akali Dal had now openly admitted that his suggestion on this issue was overruled in favour of Mrs. Harsimrat Badal and thus the Chief Minister had misled the people as he had been doing over the years. He said the argument extended by Mr. Badal of age bar of 75 years too had been exposed by Mr. Dhindsa saying both Mr. Bhunder and Mr. Chandumajra qualified under this criteria as one was of 70 years of age and the other was just 64. He said Mr. Badal might have pressured the BJP leadership in accommodating his daughter-in-law but the fact that she had not been given any important assignment was also an indication that her merit had no role to play. He said Mr. Badal had been drumming up the discrimination by the centre issue but now his own daughter-in-law was a cabinet minister and as such, the people had the right to know as to what was being done to get the issue resolved which the Akali Dal had been taking up for so many years. He said the first priority should be given to reversing the earlier decision of the NDA government to give industrial concessions to the neighbouring states or Punjab should also be brought at par.
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