Punjab Elections 2017: On Contest Against Cousins, Congress' Manpreet Badal Said This

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Punjab Elections 2017: Congress' Manpreet Badal is contesting the polls from Bathinda Urban.


Lambi:  Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's nephew and Congress leader Manpreet Badal cast his vote for the 2017 Punjab assembly elections in the family's native village of Badal in the Lambi constituency. The former state finance minister, who quit the Shiromani Akali Dal in 2010 following a fallout with his uncle's government, rejected the notion that he has mixed emotions about fighting his cousins in the crucial state polls.

"There are no mixed emotions because I was trained that loyalty must always be for India and Punjab. Loyalty cannot be graded with your family or friends," he said.

"Ministers are usually sacked on account of a scandal or corruption. It was probably the first time in the history of India that a finance minister resigned from the cabinet because he did not agree with the policies of his own government," Mr Manpreet added, referring to his resignation in 2010.

He also spoke about the experiences of forming the People's Party of Punjab, which eventually merged with the Congress.

"Whatever change we tried to bring: curbing VIP culture, breaking the nexus between the police and politicians, and getting Punjab free from debt. I think there are no emotions involved. These things must be done," he further stated.

Interestingly, he arrived at the polling booth in an open jeep which, he told NDTV, he considers "lucky".

"This is my lucky jeep," said Mr Manpreet. "This is my favourite jeep. It is a former Indian military jeep. It used to be fitted with a recoilless gun. It has always proved lucky for me as it has proved lucky for the Indian Army."

Mr Manpreet, who joined the Congress ahead of the polls, is the party's candidate from the Bathinda Urban constituency where he faces Deepak Bansal of the Aam Aadmi Party and incumbent legislator Sarup Chand Singla of the Shiromani Akali Dal.


The 53-year-old also contested as a Congress candidate from the Bathinda Lok Sabha seat in 2014 against Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the wife of Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, where he lost by a little over 19,000 votes.

(with inputs from Agencies)


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