Wealth of Badals increasing at state’s cost: AAP

Chandigarh, Dec 9 (IANS) With the Punjab government selling and mortgaging government properties to run financial affairs of the state, the Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday alleged that the wealth and assets of the ruling Badal family have grown many times in the last few years whereas the state has slipped into bankruptcy.

The AAP has claimed that the wealth and assets of the family of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his close family members have grown since 2007. Badal’s party Shiromani Akali Dal, in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party, has been in power in Punjab since 2007.

Citing news reports, the AAP said that the Badal government has mortgaged a building premises meant for widows and other government buildings to take more loans to run the state.

“The present Badal government has led Punjab towards bankruptcy and things have gone from bad to worse during the rule of the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP government,” the AAP said in a statement on Wednesday.

“On one hand, the wealth of Badal family has increased many fold in previous years, while the small scale businesses in the state have been forced to shut down. A huge number of business units have preferred to shift their bases to other states because of the interference of Badal family,” the AAP statement said.

The Badal family has business interests in hotels and resorts, media, infrastructure, agriculture and other fields.

The AAP pointed out that the “present scenario is that the Punjab government did not have enough funds to run daily affairs of the state and the salaries of government servants have been stalled for many months”.

“After mortgaging almost all the important buildings in Punjab, including PUDA Bhawan in Mohali, now it is the turn of jails in state and Widow Home where Mahatma Gandhi had visited, to be used for fund raising,” the statement said.

“It is shameful that the Punjab government is talking about turning the state into California but has no funds to fulfil the basic needs of its residents and is using anti-people economic models to run the state,” it added.

Members of the Badal family are occupying top government positions.

Besides, Parkash Singh Badal being the chief minister, his son Sukhbir Singh Badal is the deputy chief minister and Akali Dal president and dominates the party and government affairs.

Badal’s daughter-in-law Harsimrat Badal is the union minister for food processing.

His son-in-law Adaish Pratap Singh Kairon is a cabinet minister in his government as is Harsimrat’s younger brother Bikram Singh Majithia.

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