Even as Punjab Congress leaders led by Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu called off their protest in front of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s residence in Chandigarh after the third consecutive day, state party chief Captain Amarinder Singh Saturday announced that he would personally burn the effigy of ‘Chhitta Raavan’ on October 18, the day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Ludhiana to preside over an award function.
WATCH VIDEO: Punjab Congress Party Members Burn Badals Effigy
Claiming that he has taken the step to let Prime Minister Modi know about the alliance partner his party is supporting, Amarinder said, “Lets see who stops me. I want Prime Minister Modi to know that what kind of goons he is supporting. Let him see the true colors of his alliance partner. I will burn an effigy of Chhitta Raavan at GLADA grounds on October 18. It is even better if Prime Minister will be present here that day,” announced Captain while presiding over Valmiki gathering in Ludhiana.
On Monday late, a violent clash had ensued between Congress and SAD workers after workers of the Youth Akali Dal (YAD) led by Tarsem Singh Bhinder allegedly stormed into a venue where the Congress leaders were ‘guarding’ the ‘chhitta’ Raavan effigies created as a symbol to protest against drugs.
While six Congress men have been booked under attempt to murder, abduction and hurting religious sentiments, the police has booked SAD workers under ‘lighter’ sections for causing hurt, criminal intimidation and wrongful restraint.
Asha Kumari, party’s Punjab affairs incharge who also accompanied Amarinder said that the party is standing united with Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu till justice is not met. “Our MP protested in front of the Chief Minister’s residence to seek justice. The entire party backed him.”
Earlier in the day, Captain had said the ‘protest will not be lifted till there is no action against Ludhiana Commissioner and other police officials who accompanied and shielded the Akalis that night.’
Amarinder later also went to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) to meet district president urban Gurpreet Gogi who was injured during the clash. Meanwhile, Ludhiana Police Commissioner JS Aulakh clarified that the ‘police has issues with the cut outs which Congress had planned to use as the faces of Raavan in the effigies, not the colour white’.
“We have no issues if they burn white effigies. But the cut-outs of those faces will not be allowed. We will see according to the situation what action has to be taken if they again try to use those cutouts on October 18,” said Aulakh.
The Congress has prepared cutouts of the Chief Minister, deputy Chief Minister and ministers including Bikram Singh Majithia, Tota Singh, Adesh Partap Singh Kairon among others. They were later burnt separately after Akalis allegedly demolished white Raavan effigies.
15 lakh more families under Atta Dal scheme
Captain Amarinder announced that if Congress comes to power, not only atta dal but tea leaves and sugar will also be given free of cost. Speaking to The Indian Express, Manpreet Badal from Congress’ manifesto committee said that Congress is targeting to cover at least 15 lakh more poor families under Atta Dal scheme. Currently, SAD-BJP government has already announced to add 7 lakh families to existing 28 lakh beneficiary families. Aam Aadmi Party has announced that it will cover 10 lakh more families under this freebies scheme.
Indiscipline will not be tolerated
Amarinder also said that Navjot Sidhu and Bains brothers can join Congress ‘unconditionally’ but their ‘indiscipline’ will not be tolerated. “This is not BJP where you can stay in for years and speak against the party in parallel. Sidhu and Bains brothers can join unconditionally but I will throw those leaders out who will create indiscipline in the party,” said Captain.