Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday took the Jalalabad Assembly constituency of former MLA Sukhbir Singh Badal by storm, declaring that the Akali leader’s arrogance will plunge his party into ignominy once again in these by-elections.Sukhbir’s misconception that he has the people of Jalalabad in his pockets will soon be destroyed, warned Captain Amarinder during a chat with mediapersons, while on an impressive roadshow in favour of Congress candidate Raminder Singh Awla, which saw thousands of residents come out on the streets to cheer for the party.The Chief Minister lashed out at Sukhbir over his criticism of state government for pleading for the release of police personnel languishing in prisons for alleged human rights violations during the militancy period. Thousands of police men died in the line of duty at that time to protect Punjab and the nation, and the actions of these personnel was motivated by the need to fight militancy, he pointed out, adding that seeking their release on humanitarian grounds was in line with Guru Nanak’s philosophy of compassion and benevolence. “But you can’t expect Sukhbir to understand compassion or humanitarianism,” he quipped, adding that the Akalis only paid lip service to the values of Sikhism and its Gurus.Asserting his unequivocal confidence in Awla, the Chief Minister said he would ensure that every promise made to the people by the candidate is fulfilled. Addressing the crowds that had gathered at Uddham Singh Chowk, Captain Amarinder said the entire party was working hard to ensure a landslide win for the Congress candidates in all the upcoming bypolls.
Besides Awla,party leaders Asha Kumari, Sunil Jakhar, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Raja Warring and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot were accompanying the Chief Minister. Others who joined the roadshow included Dhamrambir Agnihotri, Sukhpal Bhullar, Karan Kaur Brar and Daman Thind Bajwa.Taking to mediapersons during the roadshow, Captain Amarinder said Sukhbir was living in an illusion if he believed that the Akalis stood a chance against the Congress. The people had seen through the SAD’s falsehoods and were ready, once again, to deliver to them a resounding electoral defeat.Sukhbir and his party also came under attack from Captain Amarinder over their stance on the Bargari sacrilege case. They had tried hard to get the case back to CBI but his government had successfully taken charge and would expose the truth at all costs, he vowed.On the issue of joint celebration of the 550th Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, the Chief Minister pointed out that his government had already made it clear that it would hold its main events at Sultanpur Lodhi under the aegis of the Akal Takth and had no problem with SGPC staging its other programmes within gurdwara premises. If the SGPC does not want to follow the Akal Takth, let them say so,” he challenged, making it clear that he was not in favour of abuse of religion for political gains.To a question on the Kartarpur Corridor inaugural programme, the Chief Minister dismissed Akali claims saying the programme was not being worked out by SAD but by the Government of India, which was in talks with Pakistan. The Corridor was a GoI project and the Akalis had no say in the matter, he added.Captain Amarinder also rejected the allegations of eligible farmers being left out of the debt relief scheme of his government, saying incomplete paperwork had caused some to be excluded but their farm loans would also be waived off once the papers are sorted out.