Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur on Wednesday said the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) would try to project itself as “party of martyrs” over the issue of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal and necessitate early polls by resigning from the government as “people have short memory”. He was addressing a party rally on the second day of the three-day Hola Mohalla celebrations here. Polls are due in Punjab in February next year.
AAP spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira said that both chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and state Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh “are telling lies over the issue of SYL canal”.
“Both parties have double standards on SYL, as it was Congress in power when the central government gave away 75% of Punjab’s water to Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi; to which SAD never objected,” said former Congress MLA Khaira, reminding that it was the then PM Indira Gandhi who came to Kapoori village in Punjab to lay the foundation stone of the canal in 1982, “and Capt Amarinder accompanied her”.
Chhotepur added that both CM Badal and Amarinder had indicated early polls and the “AAP is ready for the challenge”.
AAP Punjab affairs in-charge Sanjay Singh, in his address, said the Congress and the SAD-BJP alliance would be “wiped out” and the AAP would “sweep the elections by winning all 117 seats”. He also accused the BJP of resorting to “politics of hate”.
MP Bhagwant Mann, who is the AAP’s Punjab campaign committee chairman, launched scathing attacks too in his usual sarcastic style. The comedian-turned-politician said deputy CM and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal and Amarinder had become arrogant. “People of Punjab do not like such arrogant behaviour...
It will not be a political battle in the polls but a battle between the rich class and the people with a conscience,” he said. According to Mann, people of Punjab have already made up their mind to bring about a change and give AAP an opportunity to form the government.
AAP leaders Ashutosh, Baljinder Kaur, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Himmat Singh Shergill, JS Dhaliwal and Dr RS Parmar also spoke on the occasion. The speakers highlighted the achievements of the AAP’s Delhi government and said the party wanted to replicate those in Punjab.