Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday criticised Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for gifting a Rs 12 crore gift to his wife and union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, and demanded that both should immediately make their assets public and explain how they have amassed such huge wealth over the years.
AAP leader Himmat Singh Shergill said Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal often claimed to have entered into politics as a modest farmer with possession of ancestral agriculture land. “However people of Punjab are wondering how a modest farmer and his family have been able to build such a huge business empire while being in public service all these years,” he said in a statement issued here.
Shergill said Sukhbir Badal gift worth Rs 12 crore to Harsimrat Badal making her the only minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ government whose assets have doubled in just one year.
Shergill said these facts came to the fore when Harsimrat made a mandatory declaration to the Prime Minister Office, in which she stated that her husband has ‘gifted’ her shares worth nearly Rs 12 crore of Orbit Resort based at Gurgaon. Terming the ‘gift’ as a tool to convert his (Sukhbir Badal) black money into white, AAP leader said the ‘gift’ has led to her assets doubling from Rs 12.81 crore to Rs 23.93 crore and this is the biggest percentage rise in assets of any minister in the Modi government recorded in a year.
Shergill said at a time when Punjab farmers were committing suicides, government employees were not getting their salaries and government is reeling under financial crisis, Sukhbir had the audacity and wherewithal to gift his wife shares worth Rs 12 crore.
“Is it not a cruel joke with the people of Punjab?” he questioned.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg. Sukhbir has stakes in several other businesses such as transport, cable, and hotels, which has a clear conflict of interest with his being the deputy chief minister of Punjab,” he said.
Shergill said the report clearly revealed that both Sukhbir and Harsimrat are directors in Orbit Resorts, the company whose 4.39 lakh shares were gifted by Sukhbir to his wife.