Promising better prospects for Punjab, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) rooted for Arun Jaitley, the Akali-BJP alliance candidate from Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, during his inaugural election rally here on Friday.
Led by Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, the Akalis projected Jaitley as the man who could change Punjab’s fortunes if elected from the holy city. Seeking votes for the senior BJP leader, Badal, cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia and other leaders primarily talked about the position Jaitley could attain if the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regained power.
Badal said in his speech, “Punjab has faced major discrimination at the hands of the Congress-led UPA. Now, we have a man in Jaitley saab who enjoys great stature. You will get whatever you want, so please make him victorious.”
During the rally organised by cabinet minister and local MLA Gulzar Singh Ranike, Badal urged border residents not to consider Jaitley an ‘outsider’, giving details of his Punjab connection and family ties in Amritsar.
“Jaitley saab is no outsider. He is a son of the soil and we need to support him all the way so that he can change the face of this region when the Narendra Modi-led government is formed,” the CM added.
Badal hastened to add that Jaitley may not be able to visit every village, considering the latter’s busy schedule and the duties he would perform at the national level during the polls.
JAITLEY SLAMS UPA
Speaking in Punjabi, Jaitley slammed the UPA and assured border residents that their issues would be resolved once the NDA came to power.
“Meeting demands of the border region may not have cost more than ` 500 crore, but this was never the UPA’s priority as it was busy in one scam after another. People are fed up with the UPA’s anti-people policies,” he added.
Thanking Badal for urging the BJP leadership to make him contest from Amritsar, Jaitley said, “I have a strong link with Punjab and Amritsar.”
Jaitley, who is making his electoral debut, said, “The BJP’s ties with the SAD are very strong and both parties are committed to overall development. People of this region have faced a lot of hardships during the wars and we will work to provide maximum relief.”
Meanwhile, Majithia termed Jaitley as the most apt person Punjab could have for getting its issues resolved.
He said, “We will not have to run to Delhi anymore. We just have to inform Jaitley saab, who will get things done in a minute. Punjab has always got step-motherly treatment from the UPA, but things will change as the NDA will form the next government.”
Majithia also urged border residents to ensure maximum victory margin for Jaitley. Punjab BJ Punit chief Kamal Sharma also spoke on the occasion.