Punjab Congress leading in pre-poll survey but can’t get complacent: Bir Devinder Singh

This was the first time that Bir Devinder Singh spoke after he was expelled six months ago from the party.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh | Published:October 26, 2016 3:51 am
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Citing a pre-poll survey, Bir Devinder Singh on Tuesday said his former party, the Congress, was “leading, but behind the halfway mark”, adding that it could not afford to be complacent.

This was the first time that Bir Devinder Singh spoke after he was expelled six months ago from the party after his outburst against Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh that he was “inaccessible”. However, according to recent reports from the Congress camp, the party was in talks with Devinder to bring him back into the party fold.

To Amarinder’s statement on Monday that he would welcome all to the Congress, provided they commit to the party ideology., Devinder said he was appreciative but “such positive gesturing is not followed by expected action oriented initiative.”

“Approaching people with reservations is not likely to build amicable alliances. Amarinder, as head of the family, is expected to manifest his gracious and magnanimous spirit in welcoming people with open arms,” he said.

Devinder is a witness in Amritsar Improvement Trust land scam in which Amarinder was named accused. Devinder was the one who raised a question about it in the Assembly in 2006 following which an inquiry was conducted. A few days ago, the Vigilance Bureau cleared Amarinder and filed a closure report in the case.

Sources in Vidhan Sabha said Devinder had sought recording of his questions and debate that ensued on the matter ever since the closure report. Devinder, however, denied this.

Devinder had campaigned vigorously for Amarinder in the past. Party strategist Prashant Kishor has been working on getting him back. Sources said his case was sent to the high command for their final stamp.

In his statement, Devinder, who still seems hopeful for re-induction said, “Assembly elections are not very far now. Although a pre-poll election survey conducted by psephologists for Punjab has shown Congress in a leading position but it still falls behind the half way mark. Therefore, Amarinder Singh as Punjab Congress Chief cannot afford to be complacent in the given scenario. He should not just take initiative to invite but also sagaciously approach the like-minded people to strengthen the party so as to seal victory in upcoming Assembly election. There is absolutely no harm to conciliate and win back the leaders who have unflinching faith in the Congress ideology and are willing to work for the same.”