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Bhagwant seeks overseas support for People's Party

world Updated: Apr 13, 2011 02:57 IST
Gurpreet Singh

Comedian-turned-activist-turned politician Bhagwant Mann, who has attracted some successful shows in North America, is here these days to promote his party among the diaspora.

Considered part of the think tank of Manpreet Badal's People's Party of Punjab (PPP) says he's on a recruitment drive. Party leader Manpreet is slated to come calling in Mann's footsteps in July.

"Unlike other times, when I tried to create political and social awareness through comedy, this time I have come with a message: Let's get rid of the corrupt political parties,” Mann said in an interview with HT.

The satire was much milder, but Mann was passionate as usual. He insisted that the people of Punjab were fed up with both the big parties, the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the party Manpreet left last year. Having left his post as finance minister in the state government led by his uncle Parkash Singh Badal, Manpreet formed the PPP on March 27.

“Both the Congress and SAD have done nothing for marginalised sections of society. Their leaders are behaving like autocrats, who travel in helicopters''. For Mann, India and Bharat are two different identities. “India represents the elite; Bharat represents those who have no access to basic needs.”

On the PPP, he said, “We won't use beacons atop our or security guards as accessories.” On Manpreet, he was eloquent, “He lives like an ordinary man. By quitting the post of finance minister, Manpreet has proved his integrity. People don't easily quit the leadership of even a crematorium management committee.”

He also assured that the PPP, which was launched at Shaheed Bhagat Singh's native village Khatkat Kalan, would keep religion and politics apart. “Ours is a true secular party.” He pointed out that Bhagat Singh and his comrades opposed religious fundamentalism.