Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Saturday hit out at Arvind Kejriwal saying anyone aspiring to be the Chief Minister of Punjab should have his roots in the state’s culture and ethos as Punjabi pride and self-respect will not allow the rule by an “outsider”. “It is the question of Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiyat which only a Punjabi can feel and understand,” he said.
Referring to Kejriwal’s announcement on Saturday that Anandpur Sahib would be made a holy city if AAP is voted to power in the state, Amarinder said Kejriwal did not even have the “basic knowledge” that Amritsar and Anandpur Sahab were already officially declared holy cities.
“This is encyclopedic ignorance that is natural for someone who is alien to the history and culture of the place. At least you won’t expect such stupid and silly mistakes from a native Punjabi,” he said on the sidelines of the ‘Halke Vich Captain’ programme. On Independent MLA brothers Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains, who are part of Awaaz-e-Punjab front of Navjot Singh Sidhu, being “physically moved out” of the Assembly for disrupting proceedings, Amarinder said it should have been avoided.
Although the Speaker was within his right to order such action, he should have avoided it and the legislators should have been allowed to put forth their point of view since they are democratically elected representatives of the people, the Congress leader said. To a question on party MP Shamsher Singh Dullo not being invited to party functions, Amarinder claimed invitations are extended to all leaders irrespective of their seniority.
“Moreover Dullo is our Rajya Sabha member and it is out of question that he may not have been invited,” he said, adding however no invitations are extended to anyone for the ‘Halke vich Captain’ programme. Earlier, interacting with people, Amarinder claimed, the Akalis have lost all moral authority to “wail and whine” over the discrimination with Punjab.
“It is the Akalis, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in particular, who have repeatedly betrayed Punjab and compromised with its interests by successive betrayals,” he alleged. Amarinder promised that all the party workers who were victimised and discriminated against by the Akalis will get preferential treatment if his party comes to power. He also said that all the cases against the party workers victimised will be cancelled and those responsible for registering those will be punished.