Cong predicts snap polls in Punjab

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Dec 30, 2014 23:12 IST

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Partap Singh Bajwa on Tuesday predicted mid-term polls in the state, even asking its party cadres to be ready for that, besides taking a dig at deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal's Sunday announcement for an anti-BSF protest along the India-Pakistan border.

Playing up the differences between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP in the state, Bajwa in a statement here appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to drop Harsimrat Badal from the union cabinet "immediately".

He suggested to Modi that it is in the interest of national security to withdraw the BJP from the SAD-BJP alliance and go in for a fresh mandate (in Punjab), keeping in view the situation caused by the "highly confrontationist stand of the BJP and SAD".

"Sukhbir Badal, who is husband of Harsimrat Badal, is issuing secessionist statements and instigating people to protest against the BSF at the border," Bajwa added.

He said it was not justified to keep Harsimrat in the cabinet keeping in view the "flaring situation caused by such anti-national stand" and statement by her husband who is the deputy CM-cum-home minister of Punjab.

Dig at SAD's U-turn

While Bajwa skipped Tuesday's developments wherein chief minister Parkash Singh Badal ruled out any anti-BSF stance of the SAD, senior Congress MLA Rana Gurjit pooh-poohed the SAD's U-turn on Sukhbir's announcement for the protest dharnas along the border.

"The Akalis are confused and panic-stricken over its earlier announcement of protests against the BSF along the India-Pakistan border," Rana Gurjit said in a statement, pointing out senior Badal's clarification of doing away with any anti-BSF or anti-Centre stance of the SAD.

The Congress MLA also pointed out Dhindsa's opposition to Sukhbir's plan of SAD protests on January 5.

He said the Akalis had been cornered over the drug smuggling for which "some of their ministers had to resign while others are in the queue".

"They (Akalis) are now trying to divert the attention from the public opinion that is totally against them," Rana Gurjit added.

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