Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) candidate from Sangrur Lok Sabha constituency, Jassi Jasraj (Jasraj Singh Longia), a well known Punjab singer, Monday said that his former colleague and now rival from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bhagwant Mann, would be joining hands with the Congress in a short time and that he looked forward to defeating the “Facebook CM”.
In an interview to The Indian Express, Jassi said he would ensure the rout of Bhagwant Mann from Sangrur as it was Mann who had sabotaged his election campaign in Bathinda in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. “Mann had been a part of Manpreet Badal’s People’s Party of Punjab and is still friends with him. It was in order to help Manpreet that he delayed the announcement of the Bathinda seat candidate till only 18 days before polls,” he said.
Jassi Jasraj had polled 87,901 votes from Bathinda parliamentary constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The winning candidate, Harsimat Kaur Badal of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had received 5,14,727 votes while the runners up Manpreet Badal from Congress had received 4,95,332 votes.
Jasraj said that he had made repeated appeals to AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal to visit his constituency but this was not done because Mann ensured that Kejriwal did not campaign in Bathinda in order to help Manpreet Badal. “I told Kejriwal at the time that he was returning from Sunam which was just next to my constituency and that this will have a negative impact on my campaign, but he said: ‘Jinhone tour plan banaya hai to soch kar hee banaya hoga (Those who have made the tour plan must have out some thought in it)’,” said Jasraj.
He claimed that hectic parleys were on within AAP and Congress to ensure that Sangrur is turned into a safe seat for Mann. “Within no time he will be a part of the Congress. His friendship with Manpreet Badal will last long),” he said.
Speaking about his priorities while campaigning in Sangrur, Jasraj said: “Apart from unemployment, drugs issues, lack of industries we also need to study other factors as the requirements of the voters change every 50 km. So we are going to make a holistic plan as we start our campaign there,” he said.
When asked if his priority was to win the election or to defeat Bhagwant Mann, Jasraj said the aim was to show what Mann failed to do in the last five years, and what all was possible.
“What has the MP been doing all these five years? Assi Sangrur de lokan nu pittal te sone di pachhaan kara ddange (We will tell the people of Sangrur the difference between brass and gold). You will see the results,” he said.
Jasraj added: “We (LIP) have given him a 48 hour notice in Amritsar beginning yesterday demanding that he can still be forgiven if he appears before Darbar Sahib and accepts his mistake of letting down the 2017 poll campaign because of his own greed for Chief Minister’s chair. Just accept once that you were at fault and I will come and campaign for you (Mann) to ensure your victory,” he said.
Terming the people of Sangrur to be politically “very mature”, Jassi Jasraj said that the constituency had the maximum concentration of the people aligned with Communist ideology. “They are not going to be impressed by comedy on stage. When I take to the political platform these people (AAP) will not be seen anywhere. This is a battle of those with conscience and those without it. It is a battle between good and evil,” he said.