A day after Punjab deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal said that Bhagwant Mann, Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Sangrur, wanted to join SAD, the latter has condemned him for lying at public rallies.
"I never met him (Sukhbir) or expressed my interest to join SAD, though they had approached me and offered party ticket, red-beacon, power and money. but I declined joining SAD as I am not a mission not on commission", Bhagwant Mann told the Hindustan Times.
He said, "I entered into politics to make it corruption-free. Earlier, I had joined the People's Party of Punjab as its chief Manpreet Badal promised me to fight against corruption and unemployment but when he forgot his mission I joined Aam Aadmi Party, which I feel is the best alternative for the cleanup."
"Also, how can I join the SAD to remove corruption as corruption has increased manifold during SAD and Congress regimes in Punjab," he added.
On his maternal uncle Gurcharan Singh's joining the SAD, he said, "SAD candidate Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa is worried about his political prospects since I have launched my campaign, now the standard of the SAD has declined as my mamas and fufaas (uncles), who failed to run their houses, will run the SAD."
It may be recalled here that soon after the AAP declared Bhagwant Mann as its candidate from Sangrur, the direct contest between the SAD-Congress has turned into a triangular one. Eyeing the rural vote bank also, Bhagwant Mann has left Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and sitting Congress MP Vijay Inder Singla far behind in the election campaign, as he has already completed first round of his campaign and covered about 200 villages of the constituency.
Mann also said he was very much enthusiastic about the proposed visit of AAP founder Arvind Kejriwal one week before the polling in Punjab.
"I am already trying my best to persuade the people to vote for the change and now that Kejriwal has decided to come to Sangrur, we will launch a road show which will cover, Barnala, Malerkotla, Dhuri, Sangrur and Sunam which will give a boost to AAP", said an enthused Mann.