If Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is worried over the delay in the announcement of an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate for Bathinda parliamentary seat as he is interested in division of votes, the PPP-Congress candidate Manpreet Singh Badal is also worried over the possible division of votes in case another strong contender enters the arena.
Perhaps, to convey a message to AAP, Manpreet had said that another strong candidate from Bathinda would divide 'secular' votes.
Manpreet said, "It was now common knowledge that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had personally contacted some of the communist leaders to persuade them to put up a
candidate from Bathinda where the communists have a sizeable vote-bank."
Manpreet said, "These machinations would not succeed as such a move would lead to the division of secular votes while the ultimate aim is to block the autocratic and communal forces at the national level."
On Sukhbir's attempt to linking Congress with AAP over delaying the announcement of its candidate, Manpreet said that he could very well understand the panic of SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal as his so- called strategy and tactics were likely to fail him in Bathinda from where his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal was seeking re-election.
Without naming AAP, Manpreet said that Sukhbir should not be concerned about other parties putting up their candidates as it was none of his business.
Sukhbir has accused AAP of playing into the hands of the Congress over delaying its candidate against Manpreet Badal.
Reacting on the repeated allegations of being a backstabber, Manpreet said Harsimrat might know better that it was the chief minister, who was known for stabbing almost all his colleagues in the back to establish his hegemony over the party.
"The Akali stalwarts, who became his victims, included Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Sant Harchand Singh Longowal and several others. This was not for the welfare of Punjab or the party," said Manpreet.