Former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh has called upon people to ignore the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the next assembly elections in 2017.
While addressing a rally organised by former MLA Rana KP Singh here, Amarinder said many people of the state were inclined towards AAP in the last Lok Sabha elections as they were unhappy with both the SAD-BJP and Congress.
He said that except Sucha Singh Chhotepur, who had been a minister, no other AAP leader had the experience to run the government. "How can such inexperienced leaders run the government and frame policies?" Amarinder wondered.
He said Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was a former income tax officer, also did not know how to run the government and had made false promises to the people to get votes.
He appealed to the people to ensure that they voted carefully in 2017 so that only a government which worked for the welfare and progress of Punjab and its people was formed.
He alleged that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was pursuing the "Khalistani agenda" for partisan interests and own political survival as he was not feeling comfortable with the BJP. "Badal should behave responsibly in the interest of Punjab as we cannot afford another dark era as we are yet to come out of the repercussions of the previous one," he said.
Amarinder said the chief minister had failed to keep the promises made in the SAD manifesto. He said the last nine years under Badal had proved disastrous for Punjab. He said industry was fleeing the state to other parts of the country as it did not have confidence in the government. As a result, there were no jobs in Punjab and unemployment was rising, he pointed out.
He gave a clarion call to people to root out the SAD-BJP government in the next assembly elections.
Former Nangal MLA Rana KP Singh, former union minister Santosh Chaudhary, former Himachal Pradesh minister Thakur Ram Lal, Amloh MLA Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjit Singh, former minister Ramesh Dutt Sharma, former Garhshankar MLA Love Kumar Goldy, and former district Congress Committee president Sukhwinder Singh also spoke on the occasion.
National Students Union of India Punjab president Iqbal Singh Grewal and Amarinder's media adviser Bharat Inder Singh Chahal were also present.
Rana KP Singh managed to put up a good show by holding a largely attended rally. Block Congress Committee president Paramjit Singh Pamma and other office-bearers belonging to the Partap Singh Bajwa group did not attend the rally. Most of speakers termed Amarinder as the future chief minister. In his address, former minister Ramesh Dutt Sharma took a dig at Rana KP Singh, saying had Rana not shown interest in contesting the election from Rupnagar assembly constituency in 2012, they would have won the Rupnagar and Anandpur Sahib seats. Sharma indicated that he might not contest the next assembly elections from Rupnagar constituency due to ill-health.