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Manpreet Badal launches own political party


Chandigarh : Former Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal Sunday launched his People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) at a rally in Khatkar Kalan, the village of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh who was martyred during the freedom struggle.

“PPP shall have zero tolerance for corruption and shall function strictly according to meritocracy,” said Manpreet Badal, the party’s president.

“The constitution of the party has been framed in a manner that there is no scope for any corrupt element to enter. Likewise, nepotism and dynasty system have been vehemently discouraged,” he added.

“No party member, on reaching the age of 70 years, will hold a position of office as a minister, speaker, parliamentary secretary in the union or the state council of ministers,” Manpreet Badal told the gathering.

“The tenure of any individual in these positions would be a maximum of 10 years,” he stated.

Abhey Singh Sandhu and Bharat Bhushan Thapar, the nephews of Bhagat Singh and martyr Sukhdev Singh respectively, also offered their unequivocal support to the PPP.

Manpreet Badal, nephew of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the cousin of the ruling Akali Dal’s president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, left the government last October following differences over governance issues.

The 48-year-old leader, who is known for keeping a low profile, is an honours graduate from Delhi’s St.Stephen’s College and studied law at a London college.

He was dropped from the ministry after his statements regarding Punjab’s Rs.700 billion (Rs.70,000 crore) debt and his demand that the party do away with subsidies and freebies to take the state out of a debt trap.