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Raja Warring slams Manpreet Badal for ‘grant of money’ to Akali Dal member

Warring's latest accusations — which has once again put the spotlight firmly on the infighting within the Punjab Congress as the state heads to 2022 Assembly polls — came on July 12, after Manpreet Badal handed over a cheque of Rs 15 lakh for 'development works' to one Charanjeet Singh Lohara, who is a youth Akali Dal worker.

GIDDERBAHA MLA Amarinder Singh Raja Warring on Monday again targeted Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, accusing the Punjab finance minister of siding with the Akalis and giving them state grants in the guise of development work.

Warring’s latest accusations — which has once again put the spotlight firmly on the infighting within the Punjab Congress as the state heads to 2022 Assembly polls — came on July 12, after Manpreet Badal handed over a cheque of Rs 15 lakh for ‘development works’ to one Charanjeet Singh Lohara, who is a youth Akali Dal worker.

Warring later in the day uploaded a photo of the cheque being handed over and took to Facebook and Twitter, saying, “Such acts are weakening the Congress, as Punjab’s finance minister is busy distributing money among the Akalis. Rahul Gandhi must take note of this and seek resignation of Manpreet Badal.”

Though Manpreet did not react to the allegations, sources confirmed that a cheque worth Rs 15 lakh was handed over to the Resident Welfare Societies of Urban Estate Phase 4 and Phase 5 of Bathinda for developmental work. It was a mere coincidence that Lohara, who collected the cheque on behalf of the Resident Welfare Associations as its president, was also a member of the Akali Dal.
However, Warring’s tweet had by then caught the attention of several leaders, with Ludhiana MP, Ravneet Singh Bittu, Zira MLA, Kulbir Zira, also retweeting the same.

Though Manpreet never reacted to the tweet, several welfare society members came to the state finance minister’s aid and said that the handed over for the development of a park and other projects, and the fund was meant for use of the society and not by a particular person.

Charanjeet Singh Lohara, the resident welfare society president stated, “We had supported Raja Warring when he came to contest the elections from Bathinda. However, these allegations have shocked us. This money was for the development of our area and hence any controversy over this is not justified.”

Arun Wadhawan, president of Bathinda Urban Congress committee, too said, “I was surprised to see such statements being made by Congress MLA Warring. I feel that the high command must take note of the allegations as these statements by Warring weaken the Congress. The cheque was meant for development works of mohalla societies. Development works should be carried out everywhere in the state”

Pawan Mani, the secretary Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee agreed. “Such statements will only to make the Congress weak.. it seems that he [Raja Warring] himself is in a bid to switch to some other party and hence is speaking out in public over genuine development works, it seems like Warring is unhappy over development of Bathinda. he should stop his propaganda against the Punjab finance minister as his actions are making the Congress weak.”

When contacted the Gidderbaha MLA, Raja Warring, said, “I have brought the incident to the notice of the party high command and now it is up to them to take the final call.”

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time that Raja Warring has targeted the Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal.

On May 22, an illegal liquor factory was busted in Badal village of Muktsar district. Badal village happens to be the native village of former Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, and also that of Manpreet Badal. Warring at that time had questioned the silence of the Badals in this incident. Two people were arrested and an SIT was later formed to probe the matter.

On June 27 again, Sarup Chand Singla, former SAD MLA from Bathinda had done a Facebook live from Bathinda’s thermal plant and had raised allegations of illegal sand mining taking place from inside the premises. Later, Warring had tweeted Singla’s video and had asked the Punjab CM to conduct an inquiry in this case and punish the culprits. Singla had blamed Manpreet Badal and his brother-in-law Jaijeet Johal for the illegal sand mining.

On July 4, Raja Warring once again had trained his gun at Manpreet Badal, alleging that the finance minister had announced a grant worth Rs 30 lakh at the bhog of his maternal uncle for cleaning of a pond near their house. Manpreet had come to Madhir village to attend the bhog ceremony of his relative Kartar Singh Madhir. Sukhbir Badal and Harsimrat Badal too had attended the bhog. Madhir come under in Gidderbaha, which is Raja Warring’s constituency.

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