Bhattal, Manpreet differ over use of red beacons

  • HT correspondent, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Jul 01, 2016 15:27 IST
Former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhathal, senior Congress leader Manpreet Singh Badal, and member of Parliament Santokh Chaudhary during a press conference in Jalandhar on Thursday. (Pardeep Pandit/HT Photo)

Congress’ manifesto draft committee head Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and its convener Manpreet Singh Badal differed on use of red beacons atop vehicles of elected representatives. While Manpreet was against it, Bhattal said it was for the party to decide if it wants to include the issue in the election manifesto.

Addressing a press conference after holding meetings with members of trade unions and associations, Manpreet said the red-beacon culture would be brought to an end and would be part of the party’s manifesto for assembly elections. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had also been advocating the need to do away with this practice, he added.

But Bhattal, who was sitting next to Manpreet, claimed that nothing was final on the beacon use. The committee can only recommend, but the final call will be taken by the party, she added.

Earlier, talking about the election manifesto, Manpreet said the Congress would bring conflict of interests legislation if voted to power.

He said the party had planned to bring 32 such legislations, including against the sand, cable and transport mafia and benami (unaccounted) properties and these would be included in the party’s manifesto.

He said providing Rs 2,000 oldage pension and Rs 50,000 under the “shagun” scheme would also be part of the party’s poll document, which will be prepared by October.

He said after meeting stakeholders to get a feedback, a draft would be prepared and would be sent to the party high command.

Later, Bhattal and Manpreet visited president of Punjab Safai Mazdoor Federation Chandan Grewal’s house in a bid to woo Dalit voters.

Manpreet Badal also met morning walkers at Burlton Park.

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