Dismissing any threat from either the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) or the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in these assembly polls, Punjab Congress president and chief ministerial nominee Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said it was a fight between the Congress on the one hand and the most corrupt politician in India, Sukhbir Badal, and the biggest of all liars Arvind Kejriwal, on the other.Exuding confidence of a Congress sweep in the assembly polls, Captain Amarinder negated any threat from either the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), saying he did not see them securing more than 25 and 12 seats respectively in these assembly polls.The Congress would win hands down in the remaining, he said, adding that the party would be victorious in all the four Moga seats, while the SAD would trail heavily even in their strongholds of Lambi and Jalalabad – the seats of the Badal father-son duo. Sukhbir’s own constituency of Jalalabad is in a big mess, with no development since he himself had been busy all these years looting the state, said Captain Amarinder.He came down heavily on Parkash Singh Badal for the growing religious intolerance and incidents of sacrilege in the state, promising to put him behind bars after getting all cases of desecration reinvestigated. Referring to the CIA report linking Badal with Sikh extremists, Captain Amarinder said the Akali elder was in the habit of exploiting people as well as religion to further his own interests.
Captain Amarinder promised to free the SGPC, formed after a long struggle by the Sikh community, from the shackles of the Badals, who had transformed it into their personal fiefdom for political exploitation. He reiterated his support for anyone standing up against the Badals in the SGPC.Addressing public rallies in support of Congress candidates Rajwinder Kaur Bhagike and Harchand Kaur in their respective constituencies of Nihal Singh Wala and Mehal Kalan, Captain Amarinder said AAP, with its Haryanvi leader and outsider base, could not prove stable governance to Punjab, which could not afford to experiment with a new dispensation in the midst of the crisis it is currently facing.He pointed to reports of a large number of outsiders being brought in by AAP from other states for its roadshow in Patiala to warn the people against being taken in by Kejriwal’s false promises.Captain Amarinder vowed to throw behind bars Akali leaders like Brikam Singh Majithia and Tota Singh, who had destroyed the lives of lakhs of people with their drug mafia and food scams.He lashed out at Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for allowing ministers like Majithia and Tota Singh to destroy the lives of people and implicate innocents in false cases. Badal, he said, was responsible for all the mess in the state, including dugs and chitta, as well as the suicides of farmers and the collapse of industry, as a result of his failure to take action against his guilty ministers.
Badal has never thought beyond his family, said Captain Amarinder, adding that neither the Badals nor Kejriwal were concerned about the welfare of the people of Punjab. Under the Badal regime, industrialists from Punjab had invested more than one lakh crore of rupees in other states, choosing to flee Punjab due to the ill-conceived policies of the Akalis, he added.The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief lambasted Majithia for destroying lakhs of youth by making and distributing drugs, and flayed Tota Singh for his alleged involvement in a series of scams. Tota Singh was a big thug, who had traded in fake seeds and fertilizers to destroy the state’s farming community, said Captain Amarinder, promising to throw both the ministers behind bars. He also assured the people of cancellation of all false cases filed against innocent people who had refused to toe the Akali line.Rajwinder Kaur earlier told the crowd that Tota Singh had brought lakhs of farmers to ruin with his fake pesticides and sand mafia, while his son’s involvement in a sex scandal showed his family’s utter lack of propriety.
Expressing concern at the suicides by farmers and the deteriorating agriculture scenario in the state, which produces the bulk of wheat and rice despite having a miniscule share of land, Captain Amarinder reiterated his promise to waive off all farmer debts, which his government would take over once the Congress comes to power. Captain Amarinder promised a spate of measures, including introduction of new crops, to make agriculture profitable for the small farmers. Pointing out that all the development projects started by the previous Congress government had been suspended by the Akalis, Captain Amarinder castigated the Badals for plunging the state into an economic crisis, marred by a severe budget deficit and marked by mortgage of the state’s assets.Taking a dig at Parkash Singh Badal, Captain Amarinder said the state does not need sangat darshans but required modern economic management to bring it out of the prevailing financial calamity.He once again promised revival of industry and jobs for the unemployed youth to wean them away from drugs and restore development in the state after forming the government.