Congress leader and former party president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday took a dig at the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab, accusing the State government of being run through “remote control”.
Addressing a gathering at Pathankot in Punjab as a part of his Bharat Jodo Yatra, Mr. Gandhi said Punjab should be run only from Punjab, and not from Delhi. Mr. Gandhi said that in an interaction with a farmer during his march, the farmer had told him the present AAP government in Punjab was a “remote control government”. “...As I asked the farmer about what he meant by ‘remote control’, the farmer said ‘Raghav Chadha’ [AAP Rajya Sabha MP]...this is not a right thing,” Mr. Gandhi said.
Mr. Gandhi said he respected Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, but “Punjab should not be run from Delhi”.
Earlier, in Hoshiarpur as well, Mr. Gandhi took a swipe at the AAP, saying that if Punjab was run from Delhi, then the people of Punjab would not accept it and would react. To this, Mr. Mann reacted sharply, saying Mr. Gandhi had no moral right to say anything about democracy or democratic norms. “...as a fact of matter, Rahul Gandhi should peep into his conscience before making any statement on the issue,” Mr. Mann had said.
In Pathankot, Mr. Gandhi also accused the AAP of spending Punjab’s public money on advertisements during the 2022 Gujarat Assembly polls, which he said was absolutely wrong.
Hitting out at the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Mr. Gandhi blamed them for practising politics of hatred, violence and fear in the country. He said his march was aimed at uniting the nation against communal and divisive forces, and giving a befitting reply to what he termed the nefarious designs of the BJP and the RSS.