Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was in his element on Monday during the Progressive Punjab Investors Summit where, in an extempore speech delivered in English, he floored the audience with his wit and sarcasm.
Badal took digs at business tycoons, saying that they didn't fulfil promises at times. "In Punjab, we say that a promise-breaker is a shoe-maker."
The CM quipped, "Sukhbir has left nothing for me to say. I was hoping that like a good son he will leave some points for me… I will restrict my speech since small is also beautiful…"
Badal said he realised having grown old while tying the turban and seeing his beard in the mirror. "Otherwise, I feel I am 68, not 86," he remarked.
Badal wondered if the MOUs signed would translate into actual investment or not. "The MoU (memorandum of understanding) should be converted into memorandum of consent or promise so that it is implemented," he said.
He profusely lauded the deputy CM's role in holding the summit: "I congratulate him (Sukhbir) for the success of this summit. This is the most successful summit and it will be result-oriented… But exchanging MoUs is not sufficient… Please follow the industrialists, visit them again and again and have tea or breakfast with them and they will know what you want… Meanwhile, we should stick to every word and comma we have promised. A commitment is a commitment."
While appreciating the steps of his deputy in holding the summit, Badal said he would hold an international summit in the field of agriculture. "My expertise are in agriculture. Now there is going to be a competition between father and son on holding the summits."
The CM told the audience that once in Uttar Pradesh, a clean-shaven man greeted him and introduced himself as one Virk and president of the Muslim League. "I was surprised, a Sikh holding a post in the Muslim League… You see, after all, Punjabis and potatoes are everywhere."
Hailing the Aam Aadmi Party's stunning performance in the Delhi assembly polls, Badal said, "All industrialists sitting here as well as politicians must learn from the AAP how hard work, staying close to the ground and knowing the real problems of the poor and the common man can help a political party."