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SAD thinks beyond Punjab

chandigarh Updated: Jul 19, 2013 22:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) plans to field candidates in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha elections in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who on Friday made the announcement here after the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected members of the block samitis and zila parishads, also said the party might also fight the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi and Haryana.

Confident after victory in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections, Sukhbir said the Akalis had consolidated their vote bank outside Punjab and were ready to expand their area of activity there.

On fielding Lok Sabha candidates from Haryana and Delhi, there is no final decision yet within the party but going by the eroding credibility of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre, general elections before December seemed possible indeed, said Sukhbir.
On People's Party of Punjab (PPP) leader Manpreet Badal's joining hands with the Congress, Badal said it was forgone conclusion the moment Manpreet had resigned from the SAD. He described Manpreet's move as inconsequential, saying: "Zero plus zero will still remain zero."

No power cuts on the domestic sector, said Badal, but added that industry would have to bear these for a few days, as the central grid was not allowing Punjab to purchase more than 5,300 megawatts of electricity in view of last year's grid failure.

About the frequent disruption of traffic because of protests, he said the deputy commissioners had orders to mark agitation sites in each district headquarters. On the question of foreign direct investment (FDI), he said it should be based on the requirement of each sector and he was not for blanket permission.

Answering a query on the examination of the assault on IAS officer Kahan Singh Pannu during relief operations in flood-hit Uttarakhand, Sukhbir said the special investigating team (SIT) was yet to submit report. On charges against education minister Sikander Singh Maluka, he said the Justice Jindal commission was looking into these and he was unaware of any report prepared by the human resource development minister.

Elated that for the first time, the heads of all 11 Tata companies had come to Punjab to explore venture options, he said they were impressed by the vision of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and the state's industrial policy, reform measures, and development initiatives.

He said Tata initiative in the skill-development area would bring vocational training to 2-lakh young people. "Punjab won't give any further extension for the regularisation of illegal colonies and this is the last chance to get it done for a nominal fee," said Sukhbir, adding that a four-members committee would consider people's views.