Punjab Politics

Harsimrat takes on Manpreet for forcing the govt officials to connive with Cong leaders to woo the voters

April 07, 2019 06:16 PM

BATHINDA: Union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Sunday said the state finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal was forcing the government officials in Bathinda to connive with the Congress party leaders and ignore the violations of the model code of conduct taking place in the city and around.

Referring to a news item appeared in a section of media related to the distribution of bicycles to female students under the Mai Bhago scheme, Harsimrat Kaur Badal said: “The Election Commission of India doesn’t permit such activity during the election period, suspecting it to be directly used as bait for votes. But this illegal practice is going on unchecked in Bathinda with the diktat of finance minister.”

“Just few days ago, Manpreet Singh Badal insulted the public mandate when he openly claimed that he had lost to me with a gap of nearly 19,000 votes in 2014 because of the civil and police administration helping me under SAD-BJP government tenure,” reminded Harsimrat, while stating: “Though his aspersion was proved totally baseless as he failed to establish his charge but here in today’s instance when the whole administration is at his beck and call, the news item appeared in media along with the photograph of a man carrying these bicycles has exposed his action.”

“This is not only about the distribution of bicycles in schools. The Congress party in Bathinda has been trying to leave no stone unturned to woo the voters with freebies and false promises. Few days ago, Manpreet Singh Badal and his partymen had made a desperate attempt to woo the slum dwellers by mischievously persuading them to encroach upon the prime land of the Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Power Plant, making a false promise of issuing them allotment letters after the polls,” she said.

Terming this gesture as unbecoming of a minister, Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the bid was however foiled when the members of the Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP) Employees’ Union swung into action. The protesters raised slogans against Congress government and demanded action against the Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and his brigade while accusing them all of instigating innocent slum dwellers to take illegal step, but the district administration paid no heed to them.

While launching another scathing attack at the Finance Minister, Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that his men were collecting ‘Goonda Tax’ in Bathinda to ensure the illegal lottery trade keeps flourishing right under the nose of the district administration. Our workers lodged formal complaints with the civil and police administration but the officers, apparently being hand in glove, opted not to probe it even, she mentioned.

Asking the Chief Electoral Officer of Punjab to take immediate notice of the grave violations of model code of conduct taking place in Bathinda, the Union Minister said: “A battery of officers who are behaving like henchmen of Manpreet Singh Badal to gather votes for the Congress party should be sacked with immediate effect. In the presence of such biased officers, who are now resorting to the arm twisting of layman, one can’t expect free and fair elections,” she asserted.

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