Amritsar MP Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday accused CM Parkash Singh Badal, deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, and revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia of promoting drugs and promised that "they'll pay for their sins once my next government is formed in the state".
The Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha was addressing a big public rally that senior party leader Raman Bahl had organised here as a part of Captain's statewide mass-contact programme. The former CM referred to the number of young drug addicts dying every day in the region. "In the past two days, three are reported to have died, while 14 others are struggling for life," he said, "and this is all because of the silent support of the Badals and Majithia to drug smuggling and peddling."
"The government is supposed to prevent these crimes (drug smuggling and peddling) but the Badals have been promoting these," he added, also referring to hundreds of false cases registered against the party workers allegedly at the behest of the Akalis.
"Once my next Congress government takes charge of the state," he said, "these FIRs will be cancelled and cases registered against the people who framed Congressmen and the officials who allowed it. Akali leaders such as (local legislator Gurbachan Singh) Babbehali, who has forced many people out of their land, will be behind bars."
'Three fixations of chief minister'
Blaming Akalis for the unemployment situation and law-and-order problems in the state, he said: "Had the hostile Akali policies not forced industry out of Punjab," he said, "there would have been enough jobs and less crime. Badal has only three fixations - sangat darshan, focal points, and Adarsh Schools - and he doesn't care for the social sector, economy, industry, or agriculture."
'Give veterans their due'
Amarinder condemned the National Democratic (NDA) government at the Centre for failing to fulfil the election promise of 'one rank, one pension' (OROP) to ex-servicemen. "These people gave their entire life to the country and now it was the duty of the government to give them their due. The last Congress-led government at the Centre passed the OROP law but the BJP government is sitting over it with a silly excuse that `9,100 crore is too much to pay to the people who guard our borders and fight our wars," he said.
He assured the Christian and Muslim minorities of safety, security, respect and equal participation and representation in development. State Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar, All-India Congress Committee secretary Ashwani Sekhri, and Raman Bahl also spoke on the occasion.
Congress leaders Raman Bahl, Aruna Chaudhary, Ramanjit Singh Sikki, Rana Gurjeet Singh, Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Jagbir Singh Brar, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Sukh Sarkaria, Joginder Singh Panjgrain, Sonu Dhesi, Navtej Cheema, Gurpreet Singh Kangar, Harminder Gill, Major Amardeep Singh Manepur, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Rajneesh Babbi, Sunder Shyam Arora, Hira Sodhi, Harpartap Ajnala, Raman Bhalla, Harjinder Thekedar, Jugal Kishore Sharma were also present.
On his turf, Bajwa not mentioned
Barring Qadian legislator Charanjit Kaur Bajwa, who is wife of state party president and Amarinder's rival Partap Singh Bajwa, all Congress legislators (Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Aruna Chaudhary, and Ashwani Sekhri) from the district were present. During the rally, none of the speakers even mentioned the name of Bajwa, on whose turf the function was organised.