In yet another allegation against Congress candidate Manpreet Singh Badal, a Gidderbaha-based trader has charged him with harassment and misusing his position as Punjab finance minister.
Addressing a press conference, Ashok Kumar Garg, who claimed himself to be former owner of Punjab Beej Bhandar in Gidderbaha, on Tuesday, said that he had an association with Manpreet Badal because his family was earlier associated with SAD and used to contest from Gidderbaha in Muktsar district.
"However seeing Manpreet's conduct and becoming disillusioned with him, his family decided to support independent candidate Sant Singh Brar in the 2007 assembly elections," he said.
He alleged that immediately after the 2007 assembly elections, the government machinery started harassing him and officials of the agriculture department seized seeds worth `5.5 crore on march 29, 2007 in the name of taking samples.
He said that when in July the same year, the family tried to re-open the shop again all our stock was seized and a fake case of attempt to murder was registered against his younger brother Kewal Krishan.
Asking people to think about all the candidates before casting their votes he claimed that he had remained silent for so many years to fear.
Manpreet Badal, when contacted, denied these allegations and said these are politically motivated.
He said that rather Garg had approached him to intervene in the matter as the agriculture department had raided his shop for selling spurious seeds to farmers and confiscated the stock and to protect the interests of farmers I had declined to intervene.
He said that why the trader was silent for so many years and has appeared after seven years despite his having contested elections from Gidderbaha after that.
He blamed the SAD for provoking the trader for levelling these allegations against him with a political motive keeping in view the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Manpreet Badal said that as he was busy in the poll campaign now, he will file defamation suits against all the people who have levelled allegations' against him during electioneering process.