Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal showered praises on Bathinda MP and his daughter-in-law Harsimrat Kaur Badal, in a virtual declaration of her candidature from the seat.
No formal announcement was made, though.
Addressing a gathering of newly-elected panchs and sarpnachs, who were here to take oath, Badal said, "You are fortunate that Harsimrat Kaur Badal is your MP. It is a reality that she has done tremendous work during her first term in the office. Many first-time MPs struggle, but she has done well."
"Leaders from other states are full of praise for her. When she speaks in Parliament, even Sonia Gandhi is forced to take note."
The CM added: "She is very hard working. I often tell her that it is too hot outside. You can rest, as you will get enough votes even if you do not go. She never stays back."
"It is also a great advantage for you that the husband of your hard working MP is deputy chief minister of the state and father-in-law is the chief minister."
CM Badal claimed that Harsimrat would have never contested from Bathinda if former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh had not challenged the prestige of the Badal family.
"Neither I nor Sukhbir was free to contest from Bathinda. We made Harsimrat contest for the sake of dignity. She declined to contest, initially. Even her children opposed the idea. But she contested."
Offering her help, Badal said, "Let me know in which constituency you want me to join for Sangat Darshan program. 'Eko din hi Dhaka Mar deange.' (I will do all the magic in just one day.)"
Later in the press conference, when queried on whether Harsimrat would be the SAD candidate for Bathinda Lok Sabha seat, Harsimrat intervened, "(Tusi Koi Hor Labh Lao, main Chadd Dindi Han) You find us someone (to contest), I will drop the idea (of contesting)."
The CM used the name of Rajiv Gandhi instead of Rahul Gandhi as he dared the Congress and any of its leaders to contest against Harsimrat.