Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday challenged deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to dissolve the assembly and go in for a snap poll if he was so confident of his party’s popularity in the state.
Amarinder also condemned the “arbitrary” rejection of Independent candidate Bhai Baldeep Singh’s nomination papers saying it was “dictatorial and undemocratic on part of the Akalis who had only shown their fear and panic”.
Reacting to Sukhbir’s statement that the Congress had run away from the byelection, he said, “I would be glad if Sukhbir, who is claiming so much popularity, announces a snap poll. I assure him even if it is announced tomorrow, we will be there to defeat him.”
He also questioned the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s statement accusing the Congress of having an understanding with the Akalis. “I have only one question for the AAP: if we have an understanding with the Akalis just because we boycotted the byelection on principle, why did the AAP not contest itself,” he asked, hoping that the AAP would come up with the reason.
Amarinder said the Congress would have won the byelection in any case since people of Khadoor Sahib endorsed Sikki’s decision to resign. “But for us, retaining a single seat in the Vidhan Sabha for less than a year is immaterial. Our priority is to get those responsible for the desecration and killing of peaceful protesters punished, which we will after forming the government in 2017,” he added.