The saying—there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics—holds true once again as estranged first cousins, former finance minister Manpreet Badal and former Jalandhar Cantonment MLA Jagbir Brar, have mended their differences.
The cousins will see each other after a gap of nearly four years, here on Thursday. Brar is the son of Manpreet’s ‘bhua’ (father’s sister).
Seen as a big development in the Doaba Congress circles, Brar, who is the Congress district president Jalandhar (rural), has invited Manpreet for breakfast at his residence on Thursday. Manpreet will be in Jalandhar the entire day and will visit Jamsher village in Brar’s area to meet residents opposing the setting up of solid waste management plant.
A former block development officer, Brar won the Jalandhar Cantonment seat in 2007 on a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ticket. He even quit SAD and resigned as an MLA to join Manpreet when he formed the People’s Party of Punjab (PPP). There was a perception that Brar regarded Manpreet as his political mentor.
However, their relationship turned sour in October 2012 when Brar deserted PPP to join Congress and unsuccessfully contested the assembly polls from Jalandhar Cantonment.
Even after Manpreet joined the Congress, Brar always skipped his functions in Jalandhar.
“There has not been anything wrong between us. Bhai ji (Manpreet) was coming to Jalandhar to attend a meeting of party’s manifesto committee, so we decided to have breakfast together,” said Brar as he extended the invite to media for the breakfast meet.
Meanwhile, the development holds weight as if Brar gets Manpreet’s backing, he can emerge as a formidable Sikh face of the party from Doaba since he is already in the good books of PPCC chief Capt Amarinder Singh.
“It’s a win-win situation for both. Manpreet needs a close associate in Doaba to establish himself in the Congress and Brar will emerge stronger,” said a senior leader.