Describing Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh as a ‘chronic turncoat’, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday said such an individual could never be trusted and the people have showed it by rejecting him (Amarinder) in the last two assembly elections.
Addressing public gatherings during the sangat darshan programme in Khadoor Sahib assembly segment — where a bypoll is likely to be held after the resignation of Congress MLA Ramanjit Singh Sikki — Badal pointed out that Amarinder was once a ‘sworn’ Akali but switched sides to join the Congress.
“Amarinder’s credentials as a strong-willed politician are questionable as he has frequently shifted his loyalty from one party to another throughout his entire political career. How can anyone rely on him?,” he asked.
Badal, however, made no reference to the former chief minister quitting the Congress and joining the Akalis in protest against Operation Bluestar in 1984.
The chief minister, who addressed gatherings at Goindwal Sahib, Bharowal and Fatehabad villages, claimed that the Amritsar MP was now desperately flexing muscles to bag the state Congress chief’s post.
“His (Amarinder’s) politics of opportunism has already done enormous damage to the state polity in general and Sikhs in particular,” Badal said, adding that the public was waiting for 2017 to reject Amarinder for a third time.
On SAD’s Sadbhawna rallies, the chief minister said there was no political motive behind organising these rallies. The sole aim of these rallies was to ensure peace and harmony in the state, said Badal. The chief minister also denied distribution of liquor to lure people to the Bathinda rally.
Slamming the entire Opposition “for conspiring to derail peace and development” in the state, the chief minister claimed these parties have done nothing tangible for safeguarding the interests of the state or its people. He lamented that attempts were being made by the Opposition to defame the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on one pretext or the other.
Later, while talking to the media, the chief minister also referred to the anti-Akali propaganda that has been uploaded on social media sites. He made an appeal to people not to ‘misuse’ social media sites for generating communal hatred.
Badal also asked people to reject leaders demanding separate statehood. However, when the media asked him why in the early 80s he had burnt copies ( a couple of pages) of the Constitution, Badal evaded a direct reply and instead chose to speak about his role during Emergency.
The chief minister denied that Khadoor Sahib assembly constituency was selected to restart the sangat darshan programme in view of the impending bypoll following Sikki’s resignation over a sacrilege incident that occurred in Baath village of the segment.