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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Harsimrat acclaims 'historic' mandate

PTI  Chandigarh, May 18, 2014
First Published: 18:52 IST(18/5/2014) | Last Updated: 23:10 IST(18/5/2014)

Bathinda Lok Sabha member Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Sunday said she had secured a historic mandate by defeating a four-party united opposition led by Manpreet Badal that included the Congress, People's Party of Punjab (PPP), CPI and SAD (Longowal).

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"I am grateful to the people for giving me the highest vote share of 43.7%, which is second only to the AAP's Sangrur candidate," she said.

Ridiculing Manpreet Badal for claiming "a moral victory" for him, Harsimrat said it was a fact that she had won a clear and decisive victory and even increased her vote share vis-a-vis the 2012 assembly elections. She said in stark contrast, her rival Manpreet Singh Badal lost 1.15 lakh votes despite stitching together a grand coalition and even succeeding in propping up a weak Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate.

"The PPP-Congress-CPI-SAD (Longowal) together secured 6.1 lakh votes in the 2012 assembly elections. Now the same combination led by Manpreet is left with just 4.94 lakh votes. I, on the other hand, have made up for the shortfall of more than one lakh votes and crossed over to take the lead," she stated.

She said even the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) colluded with Manpreet to put up an ineffective and weak candidate who deliberately led a lackluster campaign. A former PPP leader had brokered a deal between the AAP leadership and Manpreet under which the candidature of AAP was first delayed till the last minute before the nomination was given to a rank outsider, she said.

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