Congress leader Manpreet Singh Badal, the estranged nephew of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, said on Wednesday that it would be “a matter of pride” for him if the party asked him to contest the assembly polls due in 2017 against his uncle, the CM.
Stating this during a press conference in Bathinda, Manpreet — who had broken away from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and quit as finance minister in the SAD-BJP government to form the People’s party of Punjab, which he has recently merged into the Congress — said that he had urged the Congress leadership to utilize his services in campaigning in the Punjab assembly polls instead of making him contest “but the party’s central leadership has said I should contest”.
He said he would contest from whichever constituency he’d be asked to. Asked if he would contest against the chief minister, who represents Lambi segment, Manpreet used the Urdu expression ‘Ba-ese-izzat’, saying that it would be a matter of pride for him if the party asked him to.
Manpreet had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha poll from Bathinda on the Congress symbol against the now-Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal — who is the daughter-in-law of CM Badal and wife of Manpreet’s cousin, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal — but lost. Yet, he had brought down considerably the victory margin of Harsimrat from over 1 lakh votes in 2009 to 19,395 votes.