Local Shiromani Akali Dal leaders remained anxious due to the presence of chief parliamentary secretary and SAD MLA Balbir Singh Ghunas, who was here on Thursday to distribute free bicycles among girl students, as he is seen as a potential candidate from the reserved assembly constituency Budhlada.
Ghunas who represents Dirba assembly constituency (reserved category), admitted that he had received several calls from local leaders enquiring about political ambitions for the upcoming assembly elections.
“Before I had arrived in Mansa, local leaders kept calling me asking about whether I would fight elections from Mansa. I want to convey that I have a very old association with the district as most of my relatives stay in the villages here,” he said, while addressing the gathering here in government girls school.
Out of the three assembly constituencies in the district, Budhlada is a reserved constituency represented by SAD MLA Chatan Singh Samao who didn’t attend the function.
Ghunas also criticised Aam Admi Party for hurting the religious feelings through their ‘manifesto gaffe’ however chose not to comment when asked as how his party was different as the cycles carried pictures of Sikh warrior Mai Bhago below the seat. The function was attended by Mansa MLA Prem Kumar Mittal, former MLA Sukhwinder Singh Aulakh and SGPC member Gurpreet Singh Jhabbar among others.
At the function where 200 bicycles were distributed among the students, leaders also talked about importance of educating the girl child. While addressing the students, Ghunas drew parallel between chief minister Prakash Singh Badal and Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s rule in the state. When asked by the mediapersons over the analogy the minister retracted and said that he just quoted an example of an ideal regime but never drew any parallel.