Former chief minister and Amritsar MP Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said it is not only the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers who are feeling suffocated in the current regime in Punjab but majority of Akali ministers too share the same feeling, since power has been concentrated within the Badal family only.
Amarinder, who visited the residence Congress leader Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, who died of heart attack on Tuesday, met his wife Gurbachan Kaur and son Chaudhary Surinder Singh and offered his condolences to the bereaved family.
The late Congress leader's brother and Jalandhar MP Chaudhary Santokh and nephew Vikram Chaudhary were also present.
The former chief minister recalled his long association with Chaudhary Jagjit, saying he (Jagjit) was a selfless leader who always worked for the welfare of the downtrodden. Amarinder said he always remained connected with his roots and the people he represented.
In an informal conversation with mediapersons, Amarinder said there was a lot of resentment not only among the BJP ministers in the present government, but also those from the Akali Dal as well.
"Total power has been concentrated within the Badal family and ministers cannot even think of transferring a Class-4 employee without permission of the Badals," he said, while replying to a question about some BJP ministers openly challenging the functioning of the government.
Whether he saw the two alliance partners parting ways in or before the 2017 assembly elections, the former CM did not rule out the possibility.
"The way the situation is building up, it seems both the partners are waiting for an opportunity to call it off. They are also preparing for it. The Badals' latest pursuit of the panthic agenda is part of this only. The BJP ministers are still better off as they can give vent to their anger while the Akali ministers cannot even open their mouth," he said.
He claimed that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was deliberately trying to fiddle with the panthic agenda despite knowing well that it can have dangerous repercussions for the state. He said Badal was doing this to divert the public attention from his failures.
He further claimed that his mass contact programme proved to be a spectacular success as people attended his rallies in large numbers.
"We are having more and more requests from our MLAs and other leaders to hold rallies in their respective areas. After completing the district level programmes, we will hold assembly-level public gatherings," he said.