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Badal launches broadside against Amarinder

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | July 04, 2003 20:40 IST

Parkash Singh Badal, former chief minister of Punjab, has dared incumbent Captain Amarinder Singh to arrest him for the corruption cases registered against him.

Badal said he is ready to face a commission of inquiry by either a retired Supreme Court or high court judge.

"I suggest the Supreme Court appoint a Lok Pal to look into such allegations," he added, addressing the press in Delhi.

Badal said Amarinder Singh was raiding even those properties, which did not belong to him or his family.

"The Vigilance Bureau raided a petrol pump on Friday. It is not even owned by a relative. Amarinder Singh ordered raids on a poultry farm, which does not have an hen or an egg. He is desperate because after having declared that I and my family own properties worth Rs 3500 crore, he has not found any evidence," he said.

He denied media reports, which said he and his family were living in the 'comfort of airconditioners'.

"I have spent 15 years in jail, including two during the emergency. I am not scared to live without airconditioners. Amarinder should prepare to spend sometime in jail, which he has not seen till date. There is a big conspiracy to finish the Shiromani Akali Dal and (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi is part of this," he alleged.

Asked if he was satisfied with the support shown by Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani, who called Amarinder's drive as 'political vendetta', Badal said, "Ask me to comment on what I have to say. What Advaniji said, please ask him about it."

He refused to confirm or deny if Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa had threatened to resign from the Union Cabinet if the Centre did not come forward and condemn the Punjab chief minister.

"We are not asking the Centre to do anything that is illegal. Akali Dal has always fought its own battles. We would fight Amarinder both legally and politically. We do not want any assistance from the National Democratic Alliance," he said.

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