Congress Punjab affairs in-charge Asha Kumari on Saturday said state party chief Captain Amarinder Singh is the “obvious choice” for the post of chief minister and the formal announcement will be made soon.
“There should be no doubt regarding Capt’s candidature for the CM’s post (if the Congress comes to power). Party chief Sonia Gandhi will make the announcement soon after she gets well,” said Asha Kumari, in a press conference called by Capt. Congress state campaign committee chief Ambika Soni and Punjab affairs co-incharge Harish Chaudhary were also present.
Earlier, replying to the same question, Captain said: “There is a publicity team headed by Prashant Kishor, and everywhere, ‘Amarinder Singh’, ‘Amarinder Singh’, ‘Amarinder Singh’ can be seen. Sometimes, even I get fed up of seeing my posters everywhere. What more do you need to know?”
Arrest Valtoha for caste slur against Soondh: Capt
Addressing the press conference, Amarinder sought immediate arrest of Akali legislator Virsa Singh Valtoha for his “caste slur” against party’s senior Dalit leader and MLA Tarlochan Singh Soondh inside the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
Capt also announced the party will stage statewide protests at block level on Sunday to protest the incident and press for Valtoha’s immediate arrest.
Amarinder said speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal, despite being a Dalit, and all other Dalit Akali and BJP MLAs ignored the incident not to risk their chances of getting party tickets for the assembly elections.
Claiming Valtoha was a “serial offender” and a “psychopath” who “killed seven innocent people during terrorism”, the PPCC president said he needs to be sent to a mental asylum for treatment.
“If anyone else would have made such remarks, he would have been arrested immediately; then why not Valtoha?” he asked.
The former chief minister questioned as to how the speaker dismissed Soondh’s complaint summarily without ordering an inquiry. Not ruling out tampering of the Vidhan Sabha recording at the behest of Akalis, Capt said the speaker had already taken a “blatantly biased stand” in their favour.
“While nobody can approve of hurling a shoe at anyone, what happened in the assembly was a reaction to a provocation and anguish and anger of a community against casteist and criminal intimidation resorted to by people like Valtoha,” said the PPCC chief.
I want my other shoe back: Soondh
Banga MLA Tarlochan Singh Soondh, who hurled a shoe at treasury benches in the Punjab assembly a few days back, said he wants his other shoe back at any cost.
“I have met the Vidhan Sabha secretary, requesting him to return my other shoe. They can keep the shoe that I hurled at Valtoha as a case property, but I want my other shoe back,” said Soondh, who was accompanying Captain during a press conference here.
Claiming more than 15 radio and news channels operating overseas have asked him to give his other shoe to them, Soondh said: “Perhaps they want to auction it.”
Soond said he was receiving thousands of calls from non-resident Indians (NRIs), who are praising him for daring to hurl a shoe at “power-drunken” Akalis.