Shromani Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, wife of Punjab's deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, today termed her re-election to Parliament from Bathinda as "historic", saying she had defeated a four-party opposition led by her cousin Manpreet Badal.
In a statement here, she said the 2014 contest in Bathinda would go down in history as a unique one when a SAD-BJP candidate defeated a joint candidate of a conglomeration of four parties -- the Peoples Party of Punjab (PPP), Congress, CPI and the SAD-Longowal. Manpreet had contested on Congress symbol from Bathinda and lost to Harsimrat who made her entry to Parliament second time in a row.
Thanking the people, she said, "I am grateful to the people for giving me the highest voter share of 43.7 per cent which is second only to AAP's Sangrur candidate (Bhagwant Mann who won by over two lakh votes)," she said. Reminding Manpreet not to try to hoodwink the people as was his habit, the MP said it was a fact that she had won a clear and decisive victory and even increased her vote share.
She said her rival Manpreet lost by 1.15 lakh votes, despite stitching together a grand coalition and even succeeding in propping up a weak Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate. She said the PPP-Congress-CPI-SAD (Longowal) had together secured 6.10 lakh votes in the 2012 assembly elections. "Now the same combination led by Manpreet is left with just 4.94 lakh votes. On the other hand, I have made up the short fall of more than one lakh votes and crossed over to take the lead," she said.
The MP said not only Manpreet but national parties also displayed political opportunism. "The Congress and the CPI failed to arrive at an understanding with each other on any seat in the country except Bathinda," she said. She claimed even the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) colluded with Manpreet to put up an ineffective and weak candidate Jasraj Singh who deliberately led a lack lustre campaign.