After much dilly-dallying on which symbol should he contest the election, Manpreet Singh Badal has finally opted for the Congress' symbol: hand.
Though Manpreet feared to lose the moral ground by deciding to contest on the Congress symbol by dumping the PPP’s kite, yet his close aides were keen that he contested on the Congress symbol.
Manpreet Badal made up his mind to go with the Congress symbol after the SAD fielded an independent candidate named Manpreet Singh from Badal village from Bathinda on Wednesday.
“I was knowing that they will make some desperate attempt and field such a candidate and may demand kite as a symbol. It is not a difficult task for them as the government machinery is also working in their hands. So, now I have decided to contest on the Congress symbol,” said Manpreet talking to HT.
HT was the first to highlight the PPP chief's dilemma on the symbol. While he had showed interest in his own symbol, posters carrying Congress symbol appeared on his election office.
The ruling Badals had made Manpreet’s joining hand with the Congress their poll issue, with Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal even taking potshots at his nephew for ‘betraying’ his oath at Khatkar Kalan in 2011.
“SAD (Longowal) candidates had contested on our symbol kite in 2012 assembly elections. I would just need an authorisation letter from the Congress. It will be no problem,” said Manpreet, when asked if he could join the Congress to contest on their symbol. He said, “They are in panic and doing everything possible to avoid defeat. On the one hand, they are claiming that I would be defeated with a margin of over 4 lakh votes, on the other they are indulging in such tactics also. They will not be able to fool the people.”
The deputy commissioner said the plea of the independent candidate for Badal surname of the independent to be decided on the day of scrutiny of nominations.