Capt asks BSP, Left to join hands with Congress, avoid vote split in Punjab

  • Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Jun 11, 2016 20:57 IST

Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh during an interaction with party workers in Patiala on Saturday. (Bharat Bhushan/HT Photo)

Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh has invited the Dalit and communist parties into an alliance “to avoid the splitting of anti-incumbency vote” in the 2017 assembly elections.

Addressing a delegate session of the United Communist Party of India, which has extended support to the Congress, he asked the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) here on Saturday to do likewise or the vote division would benefit the ruling Akali-BJP alliance. “Your other choices are a communal Akali-BJP alliance and an anarchist Aam Aadmi Party that has no ideology, leadership, policy, or programme,” he told the Left and Dalit leaders.

‘Will expose Akalis with drug links’

Commenting on the ‘Udta Punjab’ movie controversy, Amarinder said: “People need to know who is behind the big problem of drugs and why the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is scared to let the film be released without cuts. The drug menace has not only deteriorated Punjab’s law and order but also maligned its image.” He threatened to expose the Akali leaders and police officer who had “a direct hand in drug trade”.

Also read I Capt Amarinder signs petition for ‘Udta Punjab’ release

Regarding the slapgate incident and a statement from expelled Congress leader Bir Devinder Singh that Amarinder had double standards on discipline, the former chief minister said: “The case of Sukhjinder Randhawa is different from Bir Devinder’s, as both leaders involved have moved on without malice or blackmailing. Bir Devinder and Jagmeet Brar, however, had challenged the high command, including party president Sonia Gandhi, which was unacceptable. Now again Bir Devinder makes unnecessary statements. There is no question of taking him back.”

Also read I SAD says Punjab govt not contemplating ban on ‘Udta Punjab’; but wants EC to intervene

‘Hoping to see Rahul as Congress chief’

A day before the Punjab visit of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Amarinder said he hoped to see Rahul elevateed as party president in the next AICC (All-India Congress Committee) session. Amarinder, who had advocated recently that Rahul should take over the party, said the focus of his visit was on law and order, besides drugs.

Also read I Rahul to lead Cong dharna on drug issue

CJI urged to base SYL verdict on actual river water amount

Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday requested the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to take note of the actual amount of water in the rivers before deciding the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal issue. “Punjab virtually has no water to spare for another states,” he said, adding: “If the Supreme Court gave an adverse judgement against Punjab, at least 10-lakh acres in the Malwa region would go dry and barren.”

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