Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday hinted at the elevation of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal as the chief minister in the coming times. He also praised the contribution of the old SAD leadership.
Badal was addressing a gathering at the SAD-BJP conference at the Maghi Mela here after paying tributes to the 40 Muktas.
The chief minister appreciated Sukhbir for his “meticulous planning” and “ensuring a historic win” for the SAD-BJP alliance in the last assembly elections. “I have been gradually burdening Sukhbir with responsibility and he has lived up to the expectations. Now the time has come that I entrust him with all the responsibility and relieve myself of the job. Sukhbir will succeed me not because he is my son but because he is a capable leader and a good manager,” Badal said.
“Sukhbir has followed the path of maintaining communal harmony in the state, keeping Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians together, besides bringing about all-round development in the state,” he said.
The chief minister called upon people to get ready for the coming Lok Sabha polls to “show the door” to the UPA government and bring in the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for the “overall welfare and development” in the country.
Talking about the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee elections, the chief minister asked people, especially SAD MPs, MLAs and senior party leadership to reach Delhi, and also prepare for the Moga by-election, followed by the Lok Sabha election.
The CM alleged that the Centre had miserably failed in safeguarding the security of the country and had repeatedly put its sovereignty in danger. Talking about the recent beheading of an Indian soldier, Badal said it was a matter of shame for the country.
He blamed the UPA government of interfering in the religious affairs of Sikhs.
In his address, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal reminded people of the glorious past of the SAD.
Indirectly referring to his estranged cousin Manpreet Badal, Sukhbir said, "Blood relations leave you, but the loyal soldiers of the party always stand by you."
Talking about the allegations of the poor financial condition of the state, Sukhbir said, "That the state government has gone bankrupt was a false propaganda spread by the opposition."
He also gave a call for eradicating social evils like drug addiction.
Prominent among those present included ministers Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Sikander Singh Maluka and Surjit Singh Rakhra.
Besides the SAD-BJP conference, Congress and People's Party-led Sanjha Morcha also held impressive rallies at the fair.