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Posted at: Mar 15, 2017, 1:24 AM; last updated: Mar 15, 2017, 1:24 AM (IST)

Manpreet back in business

Manpreet back in business
Former minister Manpreet Badal remained in political wilderness for over six years after parting ways with the SAD. file photo

Sarbjit Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14

Former Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, who remained in political wilderness for the past over six years after parting ways with the SAD, has bounced back with an impressive win on the Congress ticket from the Bathinda Urban Assembly seat. He is likely to be sworn in as Finance Minister in Capt Amarinder Singh’s Cabinet on March 16.

In view of differences over debt waiver with the then Chief Minister and his uncle Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Manpreet had quit the FM’s post in October 2010.

In March 2011, he had floated the People’s Party of Punjab (PPP), but it drew a blank in the 2012 Assembly elections. Later, he contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Bathinda seat on the Congress symbol, losing by a narrow margin to his sister-in-law, Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

Manpreet, who had arrived on the political scene in 1995 by winning the Gidderbaha byelection as the SAD candidate, said: “The Badal family treats me as its sworn enemy, not a political opponent. They tried their best to defeat me this time too. Some members of the family camped at Bathinda and worked round the clock against me, but they were unable to gauge the hostility of people against them.”

Manpreet said the SAD was bound to face such a humiliating defeat because its leaders had plundered the state’s resources. “They made lot of money from the sand business and used the administrative machinery to harass and humiliate opponents. The SAD leadership is responsible for the state’s downfall,” he added.

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