It was not surprising that Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal used all his oratory skills to downplay the electoral prospects of his nephew Manpreet Singh Badal on the first day of his election campaign for his daughter-in-law Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who is the party candidate for the Lok Sabha seat from Bathinda and is pitted mainly against the president of the People's Party of Punjab (PPP).
"Manpreet had already committed his lifetime mistake by quitting Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and now he has done another blunder by joining hands with the Congress," said Badal while addressing the gathering of people at Ghudda, the ancestral village of his forefathers.
"Congress has run away from the field and they have made Manpreet a scapegoat. I am very sorry to see Manpreet playing in the hands of the Congress. He has ruined his political career. He would never recover from this stage," said Badal
Praising Harsimrat Kaur Badal, he said, "Harsimrat has already proved to you that she is a leader of masses. Her interaction with the people to understand and solve their problem is praiseworthy."
He asked natives of Ghudda to vote for the SAD and urged them, in an indirect way, not to repeat the results of block samiti elections, that were the biggest cause of hope for Manpreet to win the seat.
Interestingly, Ghudda had witnessed a considerable number of development projects during the last seven years; however, SAD's candidates had failed to win during the block samiti elections from the village last year.
The fact that had pinched the chief minister most was that SAD candidate Surinderpal Kaur had lost to Mandeep Kaur (Independent), supported by the Congress and the Sanjha Morcha, by 586 votes.
Manpreet, who is a candidate of Congress and Sanjha Morcha from the Bathinda seat, is pinning his hopes of a win on the results of the block samiti elections here. Manpreet would like to repeat Ghudda in all villages of the state.
It may be mentioned here that Congress and Sanjha Morcha candidates had collectively polled 1.20 lakh more votes than those cast in favour of SAD in all the nine assembly constituencies of Bathinda.
Badals have given Central University of Punjab, a sports school, a modern hospital and an NCC centre to Ghudda village. Without mentioning block samati results, the chief minister said, "We have developed Ghudda more than any other village in Punjab. But we have not got the votes according to the 'sugar' added by us. So this time, you all must ensure that all the votes are cast for Harsimrat Kaur Badal."