Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh on Friday said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal should ask the Modi government to transfer Chandigarh to Punjab in a definite time-frame. Talking to newsmen in Phagwara after addressing ‘Halke vich Captain’ programme, the former chief minister said the BJP-led NDA government must honour Rajiv-Longowal accord by transferring Chandigarh to its mother state Punjab on a fixed date and give funds to Haryana for building its own capital.
He said, “Badal’s daughter-in-law is minister at Centre while BJP is an alliance partner with Akalis in Punjab. It will be a kind of parameter for testing Badal’s say in Modi government if he persuaded it to transfer Chandigarh to Punjab in a time-bound period”. Brushing aside the C-Voter’s pre-poll survey report regarding Punjab, he asserted that AAP’s graph had nosedived during the last three months.
When asked if Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal projected himself as AAP’s chief ministerial face in Punjab, Amarinder dubbed it as speculative, adding that Punjabis would never allow a ‘Haryanvi’ to be its chief minister. Putting a poser, Amarinder asked whether he could be CM of UP or any other state?
Likewise, how can any Punjabi allow Kejriwal to be CM of Punjab? he argued. “We know pulse of Punjabis. What does Kejriwal know? He even does not know the names of all Punjab districts,” he said. He said, “AAP’s men are outsiders. Sanjay Singh (party’s Punjab affairs incharge) and Durgesh Pathak are from UP while 62 others middle-rung office-bearers are also from outside Punjab. People go by party’s policies and programmes but they are also tied to individuals for their day-to-day works. Who knows AAP’s candidates announced till now”.
Branding Kejriwal as ‘ahankari’ (arrogant ), Amarinder alleged he had cheated on cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu. “First Kejriwal made Sidhu resign from Rajya Sabha and then treated him shabbily by leaving him neither here nor anywhere. Our party’s doors are open for Sidhu whom I knew since he was a little boy and whose parents were Congress leaders,” he said.
On Badal’s claim that coming polls were between friends and foes of Punjab, Amarinder said that Badal was right as “We (Congress) are friends while SAD-BJP and AAP are foes of Punjab.” He sais state’s economy was in doldrums, farmers were committing suicides daily, industry was in flight,uneployement was alarming, drugs were rampant while law and order had collapsed. “This made SAD-BJP foes of Punjab”, he quipped.
Accusing both Parkash and Sukhbir Badal of speaking in different tones, Captain said if father-son were not on the same page, it proved beyond doubt that days of Akali government were numbered as the fed-up electorates were set to enthrone Congress in 2017 polls.