Amarinder says BJP leader trying to sabotage Modi's chances
Former Punjab Chief Minister and Congress candidate from Amritsar, Captain Amarinder Singh alleged that Arun Jaitley was one of the chief architects of the BJP’s “160 club” which did not want the party to win more than 160 seats so as to queer pitch for Mr. Narendra Modi.
In a statement issued here on Thursday, Captain Singh asked Mr. Jaitley whether Amritsar was one of the seats of the ‘160 club’, adding that Mr. Jaitley and few others in the BJP are hoping that in case the party got less than 160 seats it will be difficult for Mr. Modi to become the Prime Minister. “People of Amritsar would like Mr. Jaitley to clarify these charges against him”, said, Captain Singh.
He went on to take a dig at the Shiromani Akali Dal, the BJP’s alliance partner in Punjab, saying that it would be better for the enthusiastic Akali leaders to first ask Mr. Jaitley whether he was really interested and serious about winning Amritsar lest it subverts his “160 club” plan. In the same vein, he went on to state that it was in accordance with the “160 club” game plan that the senior leaders of the party like L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Jaswant Singh were humiliated and weeded out. Meanwhile, Mr. Jaitley, after a two-day visit to Delhi reported on his blog that he is back in Amritsar for the campaign and has begun reading up on the performance of Captain Singh. He said, “I went through the details of a charge sheet filed by the Vigilance Bureau in relation to a 2005 project in the city of Ludhiana where all rules were flouted by the then (Amarinder Singh) government. The Chief Minister had directed the removal of the Chairman of the Improvement Trust so that a more pliable gentleman could be appointed. Bidding documents were prepared without the necessary approvals. The bids were rigged in order to favour a particular bidder. Construction was allowed despite the authorities knowing that the agreement signed with the bidder was illegal and the construction was based on an unapproved design. Official position was abused in order to show benefits to a private party.”
He further noted, “Worse, the charge sheet mentions that payments were made by the beneficiary to the Chief Minister and his family members and the money trail led them to a particular middleman with whom the money was parked. The charge-sheet states that the then Chief Minister kept the vigilance report in his custody without taking any action and did not hand over the original report to the authorities after demitting his office. So much for the Congress party’s commitment to probity.” While Mr. Jaitley has spent a few days campaigning in Amritsar, Captain Singh will be going there on Friday, for the first time after being nominated as the Congress candidate from there.