Peoples Party of Punjab (PPP) founder Manpreet Badal has a big say as far as the Congress affairs in the Malwa region are concerned.
The Congress high command had asked Manpreet to give a detailed report about the possibilities in Talwandi Sabo much before deciding on the candidature of Harminder Jassi. Now, PPP men are in the forefront to run a campaign for Jassi in the constituency.
Manpreet was taken into confidence much before the announcement of Jassi's name.
Manpreet told HT on phone, "The Congress high command had asked my opinion on the possible candidate in Talwandi Sabo. I sent them my detailed inputs. I advocated Jassi's candidature. First, it was the Punjab affairs in-charge Shakeel Ahmad and then there was an official mail from Rahul Gandhi's office."
"Jassi worked tirelessly during my campaign. I recommended his name as there was no other leader of his stature," Manpreet said.
Manpreet also went to Delhi to lobby for Jassi before the announcement. He stayed there till the announcement.
According to Manpreet, he again received an official mail from the Congress high command just before deciding Jassi's candidature. The email read, "Is it OK?" Manpreet claimed he cleared it.
Manpreet's men and relatives have spread all around Talwandi Sabo to mobalise support for Jassi. "Manpreet told us that Jassi supported us unconditionally during the parliamentary elections, especially in the Bathinda segment, and now it is our turn to pay back to the Congress and Jassi," said Muktsar PPP leader Jimmy Brar, also a close relative of Manpreet.
Jimmy was in-charge of Manpreet's campaign in Bathinda (urban) segment during the parliamentary elections and he closely worked with Jassi, former MLA from the seat.
"PPP leaders from all over the state have been working to ensure Jassi's victory," Jimmy said.
Also, Manpreet has been actively campaigning for Jassi from day one. He accompanied Jassi while starting the campaign by paying obeisance at Takht Damdama Sahib and was also seen with Jassi at the time of filing of nominations.
Manpreet also joined state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa, who arrived here on Tuesday.