Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday dared Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sukhpal Khaira to contest from Bholath assembly segment and announced that he would leave no stone unturned to ensure the former Congress MLA’s defeat.
Addressing a party workers’ meeting in Bholath, organised by Sultanpur Lodhi MLA and state party unit’s chief whip Navtej Cheema, Amarinder said he would camp in Bholath for the maximum number of days during campaigning and use all his power against Khaira.
“Khaira has betrayed and backstabbed the people of Bholath. He will not be accepted or trusted anywhere anymore. Election aan deo, ainu te soot main karoonga (Come elections, I will fix him),” said Amarinder.
“When he (Khaira) felt he could not win from Bholath, he flew off for his selfish motives like a seasonal bird,” the Captain added.
Amarinder said he had come to know that Khaira planned to contest from Kapurthala, Jalandhar Cantonment or Dera Bassi. No matter which constituency he chooses, he will never win,” asserted the state Congress chief.
Amarinder also targeted former party leader CD Kamboj, who joined the AAP in November last year, calling him and Khaira opportunists.
The PPCC chief said the party would soon decide the potential candidate from the Bholath assembly seat. “A committee of senior leaders would be formed to take feedback from party workers. Most likely, local leaders would be preferred as ticket contenders in the constituency,” he said.
The PPCC president asked the AAP to explain its policies and programmes and specify if it had any leader in Punjab. On the AAP’s reported plans to bring Arvind Kejriwal from Delhi, the former CM wondered: “What will he (Kejriwal) do here?” while pointing out that he was from Haryana, a state with which Punjab had several long-pending disputes.
During the meeting, a few party workers demanded that the ticket from Bholath be given to Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjeet Singh. In his address, Rana Gurjeet also came down heavily on Khaira and called him a turncoat.
‘Not afraid of Capt’s empty threats’
In his reaction to the Captain’s statement, Khaira said he would neither leave Bholath nor was he afraid of the PPCC chief’s intimidating tactics and empty threats.
“Not more than 200 people from Bholath were present at the Captain’s meeting on Monday. I reiterate that 95% of the Congress cadres are with me as I have served them with utmost dedication,” Khaira said in a statement.