People's Party of Punjab (PPP) president Manpreet Singh Badal on Sunday decided to contest from the Maur seat of Bathinda, apart with Gidderbaha, seeking to gain from the in-fighting in other parties.
While the expelled Akali leader and former finance minister had announced his candidature from Gidderbaha a few days ago, the state's Malwa belt may witness another tough contest after he decided to contest poll also from Maur, around 200 km west of Chandigarh.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) has allotted the Maur ticket to irrigation minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon, while the Congress decided to field Mangat Rai Bansal. As both are 'outsiders' and facing a lot of rebellion from within their respective parties, Maur is considered a safe seat for Manpreet Singh Badal, political observers say.A major part of the Maur constituency, a new one, belonged to the erstwhile Joga constituency, represented the SAD (Badal).
Former senior additional advocate general and the PPP's Bathinda candidate Sukhdeep Singh Bhinder told Hindustan Times Manpreet Singh Badal would file his nomination papers from Gidderbaha on Monday morning. Later, he will proceed towards Maur to file nomination there. Manpreet could not be contacted for comments.
There is trouble brewing for Bansal in Maur because the party's decision to field an 'outsider' has not gone down well with supporters of heavyweight Congress leaders of the area.
Bansal, who had shifted base to Mansa after the Budhladha constituency, which he earlier represented, was reserved after delimitation, wanted the Mansa seat. However, the party candidate for this seat is yet to be declared.
Sources say Bansal is still trying to shift to Mansa because he got a poor response from the people during the campaign.
Amardeep Singh Dhillon, son of former minister Sukhdev Singh Dhillon, was a strong contender for the seat and has been opposing the candidature of Bansal. The Dhillon family has been nurturing the constituency since 2002 and has a good rapport with people here.