Since the annunciation of their candidature for the Lok Sabha polls, Congress candidate Capt Amarinder Singh and SAD-BJP candidate Arun Jaitley have indulged in a verbal slugfest, ranging from serious to almost funny charges leveled by each against the other, aimed at downsizing each other and hardly aiming at discussing the real issues affecting the constituency from where they are contesting.
While recently Jaitley called Capt Humpty Dumpty-a character from Lewis Carol’s ‘Through the looking glass-Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, the slugfest began with Capt terming Jaitley an ‘outsider’. Jaitley has also termed Capt as the ‘Maharaja’. The purchase of a house in Amritsar by Jaitley evoked criticism from Capt, who termed it an election expense, and sought Jaitley’s disqualification.
Jaitley had responded by saying, “Amarinder had advised me to buy a house on the Indian side of the border. Now that I have one, I advise Captain sahab not to buy a house on the other side of the border.”
The Operation Blue Star was another major issue on which the duo traded barbs. While Capt warned Jaitley against raking up the issue, Jaitley said that it was Capt Amarinder Singh, who was raking it up and reminded him there were vigilance cases pending against him. The clean chit given by Capt Amarinder Singh to Congress party leader Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots also led to criticism and widespread protests.
While Capt Amarinder Singh had lambasted Jaitley that he did not want his party to win more than 160 seats as it could sabotage his ‘160 club’ plan, Jaitley had retorted by calling Capt a poor scriptwriter.
One of the major exchanges of allegations and counter-allegations during the present election scenario pertains to the levy of property tax. While Jaitley has charged Capt Amarinder Singh with being behind the levy of property tax in Amritsar, Capt has charged Jaitley with lying about the issue, saying that what he had been alluding to were ‘only talks’ between the Punjab Government and the Union Ministry of Urban Development.