Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has categorically rejected Aam Aadmi Party’s allegation of vendetta behind the court proceedings against party leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira.Responding to a media question, the Chief Minister said the state government had no role to play in the matter and the summons issued to the Leader of the Opposition in a drugs case was a court decision. The Congress government did not believe in any interference in judicial matters and the judiciary had taken an independent decision to summon Khaira in the case, he said, adding that the judge’s decision must certainly have been merited by some facts.To a question on Partap Singh Bajwa’s reported unhappiness with the Punjab Congress leadership and the government, Captain Amarinder said he had no idea what grudge Bajwa was nurturing. There had been no problems between the state government and any of the party leaders or MLAs, said the Chief Minister, expressing surprise at Bajwa’s inexplicable behaviour.
The Congress, he said, was an open house with all members welcome to share any grievances or to give any feedback. However, it was difficult to guess what Bajwa had in mind and what had prompted him to rush to the Congress high command, as had been reported in a section of the media, said Captain Amarinder.
Responding to questions regarding attempts by pro-Khalistani elements to disturb the state’s peace and communal harmony, the Chief Minister said Pakistan’s ISI was constantly trying to revive terrorism in Punjab but his government would not allow it at any cost.Captain Amarinder said the draft PCOCA legislation to arm the security forces with more teeth to tackle criminals, gangsters and radical forces was in the process of finalisation and the new law would soon be enacted to control the spread of crime and hatred in the state.On the issue of stubble burning, the Chief Minister said his government was duty-bound to implement the law on it. However, he reiterated his stand on the urgent need to implement the Swaminathan Commission report and to compensate farmers for stubble management. The central and state governments together needed to find ways of removing and disposing off the 200 lakh tonnes of stubble estimated to be generated in the paddy season, he added.