During the last one year after the Lok Sabha elections, Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal seems to have visited only those villages in the district from where the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had gained a comfortable lead and avoided those where the party trailed behind other parties.
Out of the three assembly constituencies in the district, the SAD leader had a comfortable lead in Sardulgarh (by 20,568 votes) and Budhlada (by 3,312 votes) while she trailed in Mansa (by 23,911 votes).
As per the records accessed by the HT, 17 villages of Mansa, 27 villages of Sardulgarh and 24 villages of Budhlada have been covered under the sangat darshan programme by the MP. Surprisingly, out of all the villages where she had held the sangat darshan, Ubha village under Mansa assembly constituency is the only one where SAD MP got less number of votes than her rival in Lok Sabha elections.
Mulla Singh Wala, Khara, Mansa Kainchian are the villages where Harsimrat Kaur could not get a lead in votes and, as a result, she has not paid any visit to these villages after becoming a minister in the central government.
Even villages including Bir Khurd, Burj Hari, Mohar Singhwala, where the MP trailed by narrow margins of 3, 13 and 23 votes respectively, no sangat darshan programme was held last year. Constituency-wise Mansa also seems to be not in a better position in terms of funds during last one year.
Mansa has received around Rs 2.24 crore while Sardulgarh and Budhlada has received approximately Rs 3.11 crore and Rs 2.70 crore respectively.
When HT spoke to the people from those villages where she has not paid a visit, they expressed their disappointment. “It is not our fault if she could not secure a lead from our village though we had voted for her,” said an Akali supporter.
Congress MLA from Sardulgarh Ajit Indersingh Mofar termed it a classic case of vendetta politics and said that the MP should not play such kind of politics. "I don’t think that the politician should play such kind of petty politics. Even the villages where she had paid a visit, there has been no development." Former MLA Hardev Arshi also criticised the member of Parliament for her unethical politics and it won’t reap her any political mileage.
“She will not gain anything out of this practice. What is the fault of those common people who have voted for her? She should respect the verdict of the people and it is highly undemocratic if one is practicing something like this.”
Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal could not be reached for her comments.