State Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday told chief minister and Akali patriarch Parkash Singh Badal to not forget that he had started off as Congressman.
In a series of campaign meetings at Manderanwala, Budh Singh Wala, Jahndewala, and Kothe Patti Mohabbat villages in support of Vijay Sathi, party’s candidate in the local assembly byelection, Amarinder also reminded Badal of his age. “With age, Badal seems to have developed the symptoms of dementia, and that is why he has forgotten that in 1957, he was elected to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha from Malout as a Congress legislator only,” he said.
The Congress leader accused Badal of being power hungry all the time. “When the Akali Dal asked its members to resign as Congress legislators, Badal did not resign,” said Amarinder “He was dragged out of the Congress and it took him three years to resign as Congress MLA.”
It was on March 15, 1960, that the working committee of the Akali Dal had asked all its members who had contested on the Congress ticket to resign from the assembly and Badal had refused.
Claiming that Badal had reduced the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to a private limited company held closely, Amarinder said it was no longer the same Akali Dal that had participated in the freedom movement and other struggles.
“Now Badal runs the party as a profit-making company with all in his family as directors with huge financial stakes,” said the former CM, adding that Badal did not tolerate anyone in the party challenged his family’s authority. “He always betrays people and lets them down to secure his position,” he added, in reference to Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, Gurcharan Singh Tohra, and Surjit Singh Barnala. Badal could never look beyond himself and family, said Amarinder, adding that his rival would keep the SAD’s profits and huge fortune for himself.
The Congress candidate, Vijay Sathi; and party leaders Dr Malti Thapar, Rana Gurjeet Singh, Darshan Singh Brar, Tara Singh Sandhu, Colonel Babu Singh, Manjit Singh Mann, Jagbeer Brar, Hans Raj Josan, Milkiat Singh Brar, Jagtar Singh Rajla, and Gurmeet Singh Khudian were present.