Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Partap Singh Bajwa has termed the apparent rift between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as a ploy aimed at winning the 2017 assembly elections.
Speaking to Hindustan Times on Monday, Bajwa said, “This is a strategy of the BJP’s top leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. With an eye on the next assembly elections, they want to dupe the electorate by showing a split in the alliance.”
Bajwa, who is in Ludhiana on a four-day tour, alleged that both the SAD and the BJP thrived on polarisation. Accusing Badal of misleading the people of Punjab, he said, “Badal, along with his associates and son, deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, will pick up some Sikh fundamentalist issues, while the BJP will go to any extent to get the support of Hindus through their religious issues. But soon after the elections, both parties will join hands again,” Bajwa predicted.
Claiming that the alliance had come up with this move in view of the deteriorating law and order, economic failure, unemployment, drug menace and corruption in Punjab, Bajwa said the Congress would expose the SAD-BJP coalition by telling people about their new gameplan.
“By now, people already know that the senior Badal is a power-broker and a political juggler as he has left no stone unturned to woo criminals and dera heads during the elections. Now that he and his son have failed on all fronts, people are waiting to teach them a lesson,” the PPCC president added.
“The Congress will fight the elections on the agenda of providing better governance, safe environment and strong economy in the state,” Bajwa said.
When asked about the ongoing protest against him, especially the signature campaign initiated by some Ludhiana block Congress presidents, he said this was being done by a group of “non-performers” who themselves did not know what they wanted.