Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal predicts early Lok Sabha polls

Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal predicts early Lok Sabha polls Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday predicted early Lok Sabha polls, and said his party was battle-ready for any such situation.

On the sidelines of a conference in Chandigarh, Mr. Badal said that the Congress-led coalition at the center was bound to crumble because of the continuing internal tussle and distrust among key allies.

Speaking on the topic, he added, "UPA is crumbling. Mid-term polls are a definite possibility. And we are battle-ready for any situation like this."

He also said that because of the shakiness of the UPA government at the Centre had adversely affected governance at the national level, which had hit the common man very hard.

The Punjab Chief Minister's comments came on a day when his party SAD came out in full support of its ally BJP's call for nationwide strike on September 20.

The BJP called the strike to protest the UPA government's recent decisions, including hike in the price of subsidized diesel by Rs. 5; capping the number of subsidized LPG cylinders at six per household per year; and opening retail sector to foreign investors.

Mr. Badal termed all these decisions of the centre government as "anti-people, anti-farmers, and anti-poor."

Mr. Badal criticized the UPA government's decision of opening the retail sector to foreign investors, saying the decision would hurt pretty traders and small shopkeepers.

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