Interview: ‘Have seen a difficult time in Punjab, much more than in today’s Kashmir’, says Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

"Punjab saw 35,000 people killed, we don’t want any state to pass through that whether here or in Naxal belt or in Kashmir," Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said

Written by Manoj CG | Chandigarh | Published:June 5, 2017 2:31 pm
Punjab, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, Amarinder Singh, Kashmir, Punjab Difficult Time, Punjab News, Indian Express, Indian Express News Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh talks to Indian Express on his government’s performance, the human shield case and the row surrounding his minister. Your government is going to complete 100 days. How do you look at your performance?

I am satisfied. We have set Punjab on a growth trajectory… People ask when are we getting this and that, those are finance related. And finance means Budget, and I can’t make commitments before that.

In your campaign, you had promised to end the drug menace in four weeks. What happened to that?

We have done it. Over 4,000 drug sellers have been arrested… (cost of) one gm of heroin in Punjab was Rs 1,500. Now it is Rs 5,000. We have choked the supply. Our rehabilitation centres where nobody was coming are filling up. These 4,000 (sellers) are supplied by bigwigs. We will get them. We know who they are, where they are, everything. They are not in Punjab. In fact, drug dealers are shifting to Delhi. The Delhi government should be prepared.

Even before completing 100 days, there is an allegation against one of your ministers. How has this Rana Gurjit Singh episode cast a shadow on your government and you?

Not at all. This is a trial by media and by the opposition. That is why I have put a judicial commission under a very upright judge who has retired from high court and is a specialist in corporate law. But just because there is a media trial, should I sack my minister? I am not going to do that. Let the judge complete his task. He has asked for one month. That is not a long time.

The question is if you don’t ask him to step down, what is the difference between the clean government you promised and the previous regime?

I am waiting for the commission to come up with an answer. If tomorrow, Mr Badal or these AAP chaps start making noise against another minister, do I sack him?

What made you support Major Gogoi who used a Kashmiri as a human shield?

I put myself in his shoes. I have a patrol with me of 10 or 15 men. My task is bring out this polling party and CRPF men. If stones are being thrown at me, what are the options? If I withdraw, I will be court marshalled and the only way to go in is to shoot your way in…the third option he used out of his young mind…If I was in his place, I would have done the same.

Many in your party don’t agree?

Party has a different point. But I have also been a soldier. I think we are not being fair with our boys there. The situation there is the government’s responsibility… Would you have preferred if he opened fire…there would have been a bigger hungama. He should be given a pat on the back.

Are you now the hardline voice in Congress. Or was that statement political because many in the party believe nationalism cannot be monopoly of the BJP?

I am not a hardliner. I am for peace. We have seen a difficult time in Punjab, much more than what these chaps are facing in Kashmir. Punjab saw 35,000 people killed, we don’t want any state to pass through that whether here or in Naxal belt or in Kashmir.

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  1. H
    Hanish Malhotra
    Jun 5, 2017 at 11:03 pm
    A FIR 269/2008 was registered in police station sadar Fzr by then SDMFzr now OSD TO C.M punjab against Ramesh_kumar malhotra and one Deepak kumar clerk regarding embezzlement of funds along with the false photocopies of cheques attested from the AAOO /of A.G.punjab chandigarh ones 8th of October 2008 but send to SSP Fzr vide letter Dated 17November 2008.All the Administration including O /0 SDM Fzr /SSP Fzr and District Attorneys Ferozepur are trying to prove as original whereas the photocopies of cheques again sent to SSP Fzr vide letter Dated 4th December 2015 by the Accountant general punjab chandigarh in reference to an Appeal filed Before the Accountant general punjab chandigarh under the RTI Act instead of that no body dared to report higher Authority and no action has been taken against the defaulters who prepared the false do ents and trying to prove as original.
    Reply