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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Jul 2014

'Ready to challenge Harsimrat'

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Talwandi Sabo (Bathinda), February 25, 2013
First Published: 23:31 IST(25/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:21 IST(26/2/2013)

Former member of parliament, Jagmeet Singh Brar, who is also member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), is ready to challenge sitting MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal in the next Lok Sabha election in Bathinda, if the party so desired.

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Harsimrat Kaur is wife of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and daughter-in-law of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. "If the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, directs  me, I will contest the next parliamentary election from Bathinda against the Badal family," Brar told the media here on Monday. He had defeated Sukhbir Singh Badal in the Faridkot parliamentary election in 1999.

On the speculation that the People's Party of Punjab (PPP), led by Manpreet Singh Badal, might join hands with the Congress against Harsimrat Kaur in Bathinda, Brar said the PPP had opposed the Congress in the Moga byelection, so the Congress would prefer to field own candidate in the Lok Sabha election in Bathinda.

The victory of the Congress candidate, Vijay Sathi, in Moga would start the downfall of the Akalis in Punjab, said Brar. "The Akalis have blemished democracy by forcing a sitting legislator, Joginder Pal Jain, to defect," said the former MP. "The ruling party has not only misused the government machinery but also used money and muscle power on the voting day. But it will not help it win the seat."

"Provided the Akalis had not again managed to tamper with the electronic voting machines, the Congress victory in Moga is assured," said Brar. He also called for electoral reforms before the 2014 Lok Saha elections.

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