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Punjab: Manpreet Singh Badal resigns from Congress

New Delhi: Manpreet Singh Badal on Wednesday resigned from the primary membership of the Congress party and alleged that the Punjab unit of the Congress supported "factionalism."
In the resignation letter issued to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Badal said, "It is with deep sadness that I am writing to tender my resignation from primary official membership of the Indian National Congress." He further wrote, "I merged the People's Party of Punjab seven years ago with your party. I did so with immense hope, and an expectation of being integrated into an organisation with a rich history, that would allow me to serve the people of Punjab and its interests to the best of my ability. Initial enthusiasm gradually gave way to disappointing disillusionment."
He further stated, "the task of the Finance Minister of Punjab is never easy. I inherited an exchequer in shambles: it was truly on the brink of total collapse. I essentially had two options."
"I could either choose to continue to ignore numerical realities and pursue populist policies - that would unequivocally exacerbate Punjab's problems to the point where a financial emergency would be imminent - or I could accept the fact that difficult decisions were desperately needed, and assiduously adhere to fiscal discipline. I chose the latter," he stated.
"In doing so, I convincingly pleaded Punjab's case to the 15th Finance Commission and the GST Council, and prevailed upon them to treat the state favourably."
He further said that he did not believe he is exaggerating in saying that he almost single-handedly succeeded in garnering an additional Rs 50,000 crore for the state exchequer, which would not ordinarily have been acquired.
"However, far from being acknowledged or appreciated for my efforts, I was vilified in the Punjab Congress for failing to display what can only be described as fiscal recklessness," he stated.
He added that he does not see the point in elaborating extensively on all the particular proceedings that led to his ultimate and irrevocable disaffection. Suffice it to say, that the manner in which the Congress party has conducted its affairs and taken decisions, specifically with regard to Punjab, has been disheartening, to say the least. The coterie of men entrusted with the authority to dictate Delhi's writ to the Punjab unit of the Congress is far from sound, he stated.
"Instead of striving to reduce internal disagreement in an already divided house, these men acted to further increase factionalism, and almost as a matter of policy strengthened the very worst elements within the party," he stated in the letter.
He further stated he devoted every ounce of energy to every office he had the honour of holding, both in the party and the government.
"I thank you for having provided me with these opportunities, and for the kindness and courtesy you have shown me in the past. Regretfully, given the prevailing culture within the party and the defiant desire to persist in the present course, I no longer wish to be a part of the Indian National Congress," he further stated. (ANI)

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