Punjab 2017

It’s official: Amarinder is CM candidate

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi greets Punjab Congress chief Capt. Amarinder Singh at Majitha town in Amritsar, Punjab, on Friday.  

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday announced that Amarinder Singh would be the party’s chief ministerial candidate for Punjab.

Addressing an election rally here, Mr. Gandhi said, “Punjab’s next Chief Minister is sitting here and it will be Capt. Amarinder Singh,” He said Punjab’s Chief Minister should be from Punjab, targeting Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal, alleging that he was attempting to run Punjab from Delhi through “remote control”.

“The AAP leader wants to become Chief Minister of both Delhi and Punjab ... AAP aspires to control Punjab through remote, but I want to tell him Punjab will be run by a Punjabi and Punjabiyat,” Mr. Gandhi said.

The Congress vice-president hit out at Prime Minster Narendra Modi, accusing him of doublespeak on the issues of corruption and religious harmony.

He asked Mr. Modi how could he share the dais with those Akali leaders who faced allegations of corruption and sacrilege, while claiming to be fighting corruption.

“Modiji claims to fight corruption through demonetisation and then is sharing the stage with the Badals who are surrounded with allegations of corruption in Punjab,” he said.

Farm loans

Mr. Gandhi, who took the Congress’s electoral battle against the Akalis in their stronghold of Majitha, promised waiver of farm loans and a tough law to wipe out drugs (chitta) along with jail for those responsible for playing with the lives of the youth.

Mr. Gandhi alleged that Punjab had been pushed into total destruction by the Badals and could not be restored to its old glory in just two days but would be done with the blood and sweat of Congress leaders and the people of Punjab.

“Those promising change in Punjab overnight are misleading the people,” said Mr. Gandhi, adding that the Congress would restore the spirit of tera hai (its yours) and not mera hai (it’s mine), which the Badals had established over the past 10 years. “Guru Nanik Sahib said sab tera, but the philosophy of the Badals is sab mera,” Mr. Gandhi added.

Mr. Gandhi said the Congress would cancel all fake cases against innocent people. “With all businesses in the hands of the Badal family, the State is in the grip of de-growth and a host of serious problems, including drugs,” he said.

Accusing the Badals of plunging the State — once the backbone and the food basket of the country — into total ruin, Mr. Gandhi said the farmers in Punjab were no longer happy at seeing badal (clouds) in the sky as they are reminded of the Badals, who had misruled them for the past 10 years.

“In Punjab, the Badals don’t give any prosperity to the people, they take everything away,” he said.

AAP promises

Mr. Gandhi lashed out at the tall promises of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), saying it had made similar promises in Delhi but had failed to deliver on even a single one.

“I urge you to ask your friends and relatives in Delhi about the difference in the Congress and the AAP governance there,” he said.

On the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal issue, the AAP leaders were saying different things in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab, clearly showing that they had only their personal interests at heart, he said. “AAP, as a party of ‘outsiders’, cannot protect the interests of Punjab,” Mr. Gandhi said.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 7:57:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/punjab-2017/It%E2%80%99s-official-Amarinder-is-CM-candidate/article17105385.ece

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