Under attack from Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa on Saturday hit back at the former Punjab chief minister for blaming the party’s shocking defeat in the 2012 assembly polls on the Anna Hazare movement.
“Capt Amarinder Singh has finally conceded that the Congress lost due to Hazare’s movement which was against corruption. In the 2012 polls, when he was the Congress face in Punjab, there were corruption charges against him in the Amritsar Improvement Trust case and Ludhiana City Centre case. How can he simply shrug off the responsibility?” Bajwa asked. The war of words between the two leaders has escalated following Amarinder’s demand for Bajwa’s removal from the post, claiming that the Congress graph was on the downside under his leadership.
But Bajwa countered that the Congress offered the government to the Akalis “virtually on a platter” in 2012 under Amarinder’s leadership when even Badals had lost all hopes. “People in Punjab know what transpired at that time. We became victim of our own over-confidence under his leadership.”
Bajwa said Amarinder was so sure of forming the government that hours before the results started pouring in, he was finalising his team of bureaucrats. “Now he is trying to shift the blame. If he says that the choice of some candidates was wrong, that means he is questioning their selection by the party high command.”
On the former CM’s charge that the Congress lost as 39 tickets were given against his recommendations, Bajwa shot back: “I ask him who recommended the name of Raninder Singh from Samana and why did he lose? He should explain the defeat of his son as Samana fell in the Lok Sabha constituency of Preneet Kaur and was adjoining his own constituency.”
Alleging that Amarinder was scuttling the Congress campaign against the Akali-BJP government on the drugs issue, Bajwa said he had been seeking a CBI probe into the narcotics racket all along but the former CM was opposed to the demand.
“Whose interests Amarinder was serving by opposing the CBI demand? I would not like to say anything on this,” he said.