PPP chief and a candidate for the parliamentary seat from here, Manpreet Singh Badal, who claims to be fighting an ideological political war in the name of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, has been attacking Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Khalistanis, separatists and politics based on Hindutva, but is a little soft on the religious Deras that indulge in politics.
After joining hands with the Congress, Manpreet has made BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and RSS points of attack. “Modi is a divisive factor. India is a multi-religion and multi-cultural country. We need someone who can keep us united. People will reject Hindutva politics of Modi,” says Manpreet.
Attacking RSS, he said, “Jamat-e-Islamia can never have its members in Pakistani parliament. We have RSS in India and RSS will never be able to have its MPs. There was a Khalistani element that also never remained successful in sending its members to Parliament, because DNA of India is secular and people will reject politics of Hindutva.”
Asked why his point of view on politics of RSS and Jamat-e-Islamia should not be taken in the same way in the case of some religious Deras dictating their followers to vote for a particular party, he said, “Deras too will also never be able to have their members in Parliament.”
Going a little soft on Deras, he said, “It would be best if Deras stay out of politics. It will be in their best interest. When they indulge in politics, they become susceptible to be attacked by politicians.” “We have the example of Radha Swami Dera. They never indulge in politics and nobody has ever made them a target of attack, physical or verbal,” said Manpreet.
Asked if it is a political compulsion to visit some Deras to ask for votes, he said, “I can’t say, I will not go to this Dera or that Dera. I have to represent people in my constituency and have to visit them.”
Manpreet has several excuses why ‘PPP policies’, adopted by AAP, did not click in Punjab in 2012. Asked if AAP’s soft approach towards separatists gave them an extra edge, he said, “PPP is a y nationalist party and has no sympathy for separatists. I will not say if AAP is doing a right thing (by giving space to separatists), but maybe they are not well informed.”
He said, “Separatists, whether Punjabi, Kashmiri or Naxalites, are hurting India.”