Accusing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab of having “confrontationist” policy with the Centre, former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who recently joined BJP, Monday said it is “a matter of shame” that the Bhagwant Mann-led dispensation wants to bring a confidence motion in the Vidhan Sabha just six months after the state elections.
“If just six months after the elections a chief minister who has a majority with 92 MLAs decides to bring a confidence motion, isn’t it a matter of shame… this is a joke,” Amarinder said.
He was addressing a press conference after attending the BJP’s core committee meeting. Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma and party leaders Sunil Jakhar and Manoranjan Kalia were also present.
Replying to a question on the law and order situation and incidents like the rocket-propelled grenade attack on the Punjab Police intelligence headquarters, Amarinder said it is a disgrace that enemies could strike in Mohali, which is so close to Chandigarh. He said concerted efforts by the state government and the Centre are needed to tackle multiple issues, particularly the threat to national security.
“But instead of adopting a cooperative approach, this government has confrontationist policy with Delhi (read Centre),” he added.
He said the AAP dispensation doesn’t know anything about running the government or the issues of a sensitive state like Punjab. Amarinder alleged that the state government is being controlled by AAP MP Raghav Chadha and asked “what does the chief minister do?”
The BJP leader also said he is not sure how long the people of Punjab will tolerate this government. “We have to be battle-ready and whenever the occasion demands, we will fight it,” he said.
Asked about the political crisis in Rajasthan over leadership change, Singh said it is the Congress’ issue and the matter is between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and party president Sonia Gandhi.
Amarinder, who quit the Congress after he was unceremoniously removed as Punjab chief minister last year, said many people in the party have a “narrow mindset”. “Leg-pulling” is also common in the Congress, he said.
The veteran leader, who joined politics in 1969, floated his own political outfit Punjab Lok Congress after quitting the Congress. He merged his outfit with the BJP after he joined the party. “I have a mission to accomplish and that is to work for the interest of the state and the country,” he said.
Amarinder said he wanted to strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J P Nadda.