People's Party of Punjab (PPP) chief Manpreet Badal on Thursday said he was ready to take on Harsimrat Badal, the SAD nominee from Bathinda parliamentary segment, and the move was vital to stop the Akali-BJP juggernaut.
Manpreet, who was in Amritsar to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, termed the alliance with the Congress as the need of the hour. A formal announcement of the alliance would be made in the next couple of days, he said.
"The alliance with the Congress was important as the party leadership and cadres felt that the opposition must be united to challenge the atrocities of the SAD-BJP combine in Punjab," he said.
On his contest with Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Manpreet said, "People of that area (Bathinda) will not vote to make me win but they will vote to defeat Harsimrat Kaur Badal."
"The Bathinda MP made tall promises when she won last time. She is not an ordinary MP but the wife of deputy chief minister and daughter-in-law of chief minister. Still not much has changed in Bathinda. Cancer and waterlogging haunt the constituency," said the PPP chief.
"She lives in Delhi and not her constituency for most of the time. She never fulfilled the promises she made. People of Bathinda will not gain anything by electing her," he said.
As why he was chosen to contest from the Bathinda parliamentary segment, the PPP chief said, "Though the formal announcement in this regard is yet to come. But it was felt that the best candidate is needed to challenge the ruling party since it is a 'high stake' seat for the Akalis. So I gave my name as a contender for the Bathinda seat."
Bathinda and Faridkot are two seats from where the Sanjha Morcha would contest, he added.
Manpreet said he was authorised by the CPI and other morcha members to initiate talks with the Congress.
On Bhagwant Mann leaving the PPP and joining the Aam Aadmi Party, Manpreet Badal said, "Bhagwant was stressing on alliance with the AAP which was of the view that PPP be disbanded and merged with former. I was against it. I do not know why Bhagwant Mann got upset with this, he added.
People like Navjot Sidhu needed in politics
Defending Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has been facing opposition from various quarters in the BJP and SAD, Manpreet said, "We may have different parties or ideologies but I personally feel that people like Navjot are needed in politics. He has a clean image and I see a lot of merit in him."
On Sidhu's accusations that it was the chief minister who did not want him to contest, Manpreet said, "I will not comment on that but just say that my best wishes are with him (Sidhu)."