Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Sunday claimed that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s family was always on the lookout to criticise his party.
Talking to reporters at Pandwa village near here, he wondered when the West Bengal unit of the Congress had withdrawn its tweet about a controversial remark of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, why were the Akalis making an issue of it.
“When the Bengal Congress has removed the ‘big tree’ tweet and attributed it to hacking, why are Union minister Harsimrat Badal and others, including AAP leader HS Phoolka, making an issue of it?” asked Amarinder.
The Badals, Phoolka and others had flayed the tweet of the West Bengal Congress during Rajiv Jayanti yesterday saying it had revived the memories of the nightmare and bruising Sikh wounds of the 1984 genocide.
Stating that the Congress was still open for electoral understandings with “secular and like-minded” parties, Amarinder claimed that it was he who had first mooted the idea of seat adjustments with the Left and the BSP to defeat the “communal forces” represented by the ruling SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab.
He said it was ‘Bibiji’ (BSP chief Mayawati) who had announced long time back that her party will contest from all the 117 Assembly seats in Punjab.
Referring to former state minister Harmel Singh Tohra’s allegation that SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal had denied him ticket as he did not have enough money to contest polls, Amarinder said “the cat was now out of the bag”.
Accusing the Badals of “looting” Punjab, he said it was a real shame that due to hunger for money, they were now “selling” poll tickets to those who had “money power” and denying the same to honest people like Tohra.
He also accused the AAP of doing the same .
Claiming that after coming to power, he will rid Punjab of the drug menace in “four weeks”, Amarinder, however, denied that the Congress was planning to bring in prohibition in the state.
“It has failed wherever it was introduced. Besides, liqour is a huge source of finance for a state. If prohibition is introduced, how will a cash-starved state like Punjab survive?” he asked.
As regards cow vigilantism, the Punjab Congress chief said “bad elements” should be kept under check but refused to comment on the arrest of state Gau Raksha Dal chief Satish Kumar, claiming ignorance.
Amarinder had come to attend a religious programme at the Pandwa shrine which has a huge following among the Dalits.