Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Sunday regretted the absence of a Sikh regiment contingent in this year’s Republic Day parade and termed it as a “grave omission”.
“Particularly when President Francois Hollande of France, where turban is banned at public places, was the chief guest. There could not have been a better occasion to convey the importance of the turban to him,” Singh said.
Regretting the state government’s “failure” to send its contingent to represent the glorious culture of the state at the parade, he said, “The Akalis actually have no idea about the significance and importance of such occasions.”
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Speaking about the state Assembly elections slated next year, the former Punjab Chief Minister predicted the exit of the ruling SAD-BJP combine and was dismissive of the challenge posed by Aam Aadmi Party. “While the Akalis’ exit is a forgone conclusion, the AAP stands no chance on the ground,” he said, adding that AAP did not have any “experienced” or “competent” leader who could inspire confidence among electorate.
On Arvind Kejriwal’s plans to launch an aggressive campaign in Punjab, Singh said the Delhi Chief Minister was welcome to do whatever he wanted. Singh said the people of Delhi were already feeling “let down and disillusioned” with Kejriwal and his government.
Referring to the “mess” created by AAP government in the national capital following the strike by sanitation workers, he said, “When he (Kejriwal) can’t handle a place like Delhi, which is as big as one of our districts in Punjab, how can he think of administering an entire state?”