Often accused of not fulfilling the promises despite taking an oath by putting Gutka Sahib in his hand, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Thursday hit back at his political opponents claiming he said he would “expose the lies of the Badals on drugs and other issues,” and would ensure that the people are not “misled by their fabrications”. “Yes, I had taken Gutka Sahib in hand had announced that I will break the back of drugs and drug mafia in six weeks after the formation of Congress government. I have done that. More is still being done. Over 26,000 drug smugglers are in jail. Cost of drugs has gone up by five times in the black market, which shows that it is in short supply,” Amarinder said here.
The CM was in Bathinda to accompany Congress candidate Amarinder Raja Warring as he filed his nomination papers. Referring to sacrilege incidents and police firing on those protesting such incidents in 2015 when the Akalis were in power, Amarinder said the people of the state have not forgotten Bargari or Kotkapura, “which were a brazen attempt by the Badals to create communal tension”. “A total of 113 such incidents took place during SAD-BJP rule. Many people have been put behind bars. Now no such incidents are happening. (Former chief minister) Parkash Singh Badal had no business intervening in the Bargari investigation, and the Election Commission crossed its line in shifting out a key SIT officer (IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh) probing the incident,” he said.
Targetting sitting Bathinda MP and SAD candidate Harsimrat Kaur Badal, he said, “Despite being a Union minister, she never took raised issues of Punjab in the Parliament. Now people of Bathinda will show her the door”. He said he would “aggressively” campaign in Ferozepur too from where SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal is contesting. “We have to cleanse Punjab of the Badals,” Amarinder Singh said, adding that he planned to spend two days each in Bathinda and Ferozepur Lok Sabha constituencies to campaign against them. Asked to comment on Pratap Singh Bajwa’s remarks against the Congress high command’s decision to pin responsibility for electoral performance on ministers and MLAs of the party in Punjab, Amarinder Singh said while victory or defeat is the responsibility of the entire party, senior leaders have to be held more accountable.
He warned that senior leaders found trying to sabotage the prospects of any candidate would have to face the consequences of their actions. About Gurdaspur poll scenario in the light of BJP nominating actor Sunny Deol against state Congress president Sunil Jakhar, Amarinder Singh said the reports from the ground there were in favour of the Congress, and his party would sweep the polls. Earlier, speaking in Fatehgarh Sahib, Amarinder Singh put the blame squarely on the Akalis for the spate of desecrations in 2015, and the police firing incidents in Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura, that rocked the state during their regime. He accused the Badals of trying to “divide the people and polarise the communities in Punjab”. Amarinder later accompanied Warring to DC office for getting his nomination papers submitted. A roadshow was also taken out by Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal and Warring after filing nomination papers.