Union minister of food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal face embarrassing moments during a “sangat darshan” programme in her Parliamentary constituency as her speeches failed to evoke the response she had expected. Besides, local Akali leaders and panchayat members did not attend the programme.
The minister, who was scheduled to visit six villages of Mansa, arrived two hours behind schedule at Borawal village to the disappointment of villagers who kept on waiting for her in the scorching heat. Harsimrat attended the panchayat of three villages at Borawal and gave grants for the development works. Addressing a gathering, she asked the crowd to raise slogans for the work, but got a feeble response.
“Eh jaikara ta 3,000 rupay da bhi nahi. Is pind te votan ta ghat paindiyan ne, per jaikara ta change la do (This sloganeering is not even worth Rs 3,000. Our party gets fewer votes from this village; at least you can raise high decibel slogans).” The embarrassment didn’t end here as most of the panchayat members and senior party workers from the area were found missing from the stage when she rose to address the gathering. Her comments evoked strong reactions from some Panthic Akali leaders who criticised her for monetary evaluation of religious slogan. “Jo bole so nihal…. is a slogan very close to our heart. She should not have equated it with her funds,” said a senior Akali worker.
Later, interacting with the media, Harsimrat challenged the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress to declare their CM candidates. “I dare the Congress and AAP to declare their CM candidates within a month,” sahe said.
Targeting the AAP over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, Harsimrat dared the party to submit a pro-Punjab affidavit in the court tomorrow.”
Attacking state Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh, Harsimrat said he was a puppet in the hands of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. “He claims to be saviour of Punjab’s water, but he will immediately change his stand once Sonia Gandhi tells him to do so.”
During her day-long visit, Harsimrat conducted “sangat darshans” at Kulheri, Borawal, Beeroke Kalan, Heero Khurd and Kanakwal Chahlan villages and distributed `2 crore grant for development works.