It seems politics has eclipsed the principle for Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Captain Amarinder Singh, who had once denied convicted leader and former Congress MLA Mangat Rai Bansal an entry into the party fold, shared stage with him and addressed a rally in favour of party candidate Manju Bansal in Mansa on Tuesday.
Responding to a Facebook post on his profile page then in 2015, Captain Amarinder had said Mangat Rai Bansal will not be allowed to join the party in his rally, which was held immediately after his appointment as the PPCC president in Bathinda around a year ago.
Bansal was convicted by a special court of Central Bureau of Investigation in Patiala in 2013 along with 23 others, including three officials of the Food Corporation of India and Rice Millers of Mansa. All were accused of playing a role in the procurement and supply of sub-standard paddy.
Earlier this month, Congress party announced Mangat Rai Bansal’s wife, Manju Bansal as its candidate from Mansa seat. Since the ticket announcement, Manju Bansal has been facing protest from the local leaders during her campaign.
However on Tuesday, Captain shared the stage with Mangat Rai Bansal and took pot shots at the SAD-BJP regime and Aam Admi Party.
Rubbishing the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) poll manifesto as a bunch of lies aimed at misleading the people, Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said, “Badals have failed to implement even 20% of the promises they made during the last elections. Were they sleeping all these years,” rejecting their offer of farm loan waiver as a mere gimmick with an eye on the polls and reiterating the Congress commitment to take over all the loans of the debt-ridden farmers and agricultural labourers immediately after assuming power in the state.
“What stopped them from working in the interest of the people all these years? Or were they too busy filling their own coffers to think about the welfare of the people?” Captain Amarinder asked.
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president alleged that neither the Akalis nor the AAP were interested in the welfare of the people of Punjab. Describing Kejriwal as a smooth and slimy operator, Captain Amarinder said the bribery and sex scandals involving AAP leaders and workers had made a mockery of his claims of providing clean and transparent governance. “With all Punjab’s disputes with Haryana, how can a Haryanvi be trusted to stand by the people of Punjab,” asked Captain Amarinder.
The PPCC president also hit out at Badal over the CIA report linking him with terrorism in Punjab and also assailed him for the growing intolerance in the state, as manifest in the increasing incidents of sacrilege.
Two rebel candidates—Gurpreet Kaur Gagowal and Gurpreet Singh Vicky—skipped the rally in Mansa. Both the leaders withdrew their nomination papers, however they had maintained that no support will be extended to Manju Bansal. When contacted Gurpreet Singh Vicky said he was not invited for the rally.