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Sukhbir non-committal on Badal becoming vice-president

Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today remained non-committal on the possibility of his father and chief minister Parkash Singh Badal becoming the next vice president of the country.

chandigarh Updated: May 01, 2012 16:40 IST
sukhbir badal,parkash singh badal,centre

Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday remained non-committal on the possibility of his father and chief minister Parkash Singh Badal becoming the next vice president of the country.

"The NDA leadership will jointly take a decision on the issue," he told reporters here when asked if Badal can become the next vice president of the country.

He said "no formal meeting of NDA allies has taken place in connection with the consensus on name of vice president."

"It will be a collective decision of the NDA leadership," he said adding that "at this moment it was too early to comment on the issue."

He, however, said that "the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will give its view in the meeting to derive a consensus on the name of vice presidential candidate."

Reports said that Badal could be the probable candidate of NDA for vice president's post owing to various permutation and combinations being worked out for the presidential election to be held in July.

On dissenting notes emerging within BJP and its allies on the name of former President APJ Abdul Kalam for the post of next President, he said that "the SAD had not received any official communication on the name of Kalam from the BJP."

When pressed that senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar being averse to Kalam's candidature, he said, "It is the internal affair of NDA whom to accept or recommend for the post."

Taking a jibe at the UPA for the alleged problem of grain storage in the country, Badal said that the problem is a creation of the central government.

He lambasted the UPA for allegedly failing to prepare a policy in advance to contain the problem of storage of grains saying "they don't take preventive measures which is a major issue before the nation".

He said that the industry in the country too had started commenting against centre's "paralytic and decisionless approach" towards different policies.

On SAD-BJP alliance government's assertion to Centre to waive Punjab's loan amounting to about Rs 75,000 crore, he said that the loan was on account of money spent on forces during the days of militancy.

"Centre takes most of the revenue collected by states and returns back Punjab if centre gets Rs three it returns only single paisa to the state," he said.

Slamming former Punjab chief minister and Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh for his remarks urging Centre to be cautious while waving off loans or granting money to Punjab, Sukhbir said that "Amarinder is a frustrated man...he wants to destroy Punjab."

He, however, said that Punjab is now on a good footing as far as fiscal situation of the state is concerned.

"In the past five years, state's debt to GSDP was 46 per cent which has now come down to 29.7 per cent," he said.

On the issue of NCTC, he said that the new proposal of the Centre had not reached the Punjab government yet.

Badal will attend the next meeting on NCTC, he said adding Punjab's objections on the NCTC are fair. "The Centre wants to enter into state's policy on police functioning," he added.

He also rejecetd the Centre's decision to decontrol diesel saying that the Central government needs to keep a balance while providing subsidies.

On the occasion, two Independent MLAs Simerjit Singh Bains (Atam Nagar) and Balwinder Singh Bains (Ludhiana South), who are brothers, announced their support to the SAD in the presence of Sukhbir.

First Published: May 01, 2012 16:27 IST