The Congress will assist party candidate Manpreet Singh Badal by funding his poll campaign in cash, while the BJP is out to help SAD candidate Harsimrat Kaur Badal in kind by arranging a rally in her favour to be addressed by the party’s star campaigner prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the city likely on April 24. The SAD will bear the entire cost of the BJP rally.
Although, Manpreet had been terming the decision to contest the election on the Congress symbol a poll arrangement in view of the uncertainty over the symbol, the Congress has already accepted him as its own candidate and has decided to bear his expenses as it does for others.
Cong ress spokesperson Sukhpal Singh Khaira confirmed here at a press conference on Tuesday that Manpreet would get all financial help from the party like any other Congress candidate for the Lok Sabha elections. The party has already sent some help in the form of posters, banners and flags to Manpreet, he said.
The party had provided nearly Rs. 10 lakh to each of its candidates during the Punjab assembly election in 2012 when the election expenses limit was Rs. 16 lakh per candidate. The maximum amount that the Congress can transfer into the election expenditure accounts of each Congress candidate, including Manpreet, during this poll season is Rs. 70 lakh.
“Manpreet is a Congress candidate and it is the party’s responsibility to ensure his victory. We will surely provide him funds like any other Congress candidate in the state,” said Khera while talking to HT. On the other hand, BJP district president Parminder Goyal, said, “Our responsibility is to mobilise people for the rally. All the arrangements and expenditure are to be looked after by the SAD.”
Goyal had suggested the sports stadium here as the venue of the rally where BJP top leaders like AB Vajpayee and LK Advani had also addressed rallies in the past. However, the SAD rejected the suggestion and decided to hold the rally in Pahse 3 of Model Town.