Chief minister (CM) Parkash Singh Badal said here on Wednesday that Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Captain Amarinder Singh was trying to imitate him by holding mass contact programmes such as ‘Coffee with Captain’ and ‘Halke wich Captain’.
He, however, said it was a futile exercise as the former CM was not in a position to deliver anything to the people of Punjab. Talking to the HT at the residence of Garhshankar MLA and district SAD president Surinder Singh Bhulewal Rathan, he said that Captain should have gone to the people when he was in power, but at that time he ignored the constituents.
It was now futile to make promises when you were not in a position to fulfil the same, he added. He said that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also tried his hand at sangat darshan, but soon realised that it was not his cup of tea. The CM is holding 15 back-to-back sangat darshan programmes in Garhshankar constituency in three days.
“Sangat darshans give me an X-ray scan of the area. I get to know the ground situation by getting direct feedback from the people. Even if 60% of their problems are solved on the spot, I believe it is worth the effort,” he added.
Badal clarified that the Punjab Control of Organised Crime Act (PCOCA) was put on hold not for any political reasons but to allay the fears of its misuse. He said the advocate general had been asked to review the draft once again and modify clauses if required. “We do not want to leave any lacunae for its misuse,” he said.
Reacting to objections of certain outfits to PCOCA, he said Punjab was not the first state to adopt such a law. It was imperative, he said, to bring such a legislation to control organised crime.
Asked if Sarbat Khalsa leaders would be allowed to march to Bargari on July 17 in protest against sacrilege incidents, he said the government would look in to it. “We will not allow anyone to disturb peace in the state. Sometimes, it takes time to reach the culprits, but it does not give one the licence to politicise the issue,” he said.
He dismissed allegations that AAP MLA Naresh Yadav had been falsely implicated in the Quran desecration case stating that the police had acted on some leads. “We are not the ones who entangle anyone for political reasons,” he claimed.
Badal said that AAP leaders were not sincere to Punjab and they had proved it time and again. “First, they show their true colour, but when caught in a controversy, they feign innocence and apologise. People understand their theatrics. They have no respect for any religion. How they have disrespected Guru Granth Sahib and Golden Temple is for everyone to see,” he said.
He slammed the Kejriwal government in Delhi for cancelling Baisakhi holiday and demolishing Piau outside gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib. The AAP suffered from an anti-Punjab syndrome, he added.
He said the Congress had done maximum harm to Punjab. Had it not been for its wrong policies, SYL and Chandigarh issues would not have cropped up. “It was late prime minister Indira Gandhi, who gave a go-ahead to SYL digging and now they (Congressmen) are speaking against its construction. It is nothing but cheap politics”, he asserted.
He said that Congress leader Sunil Jakhar was shedding crocodile tears for the peasantry, but his ‘political gimmickry’ would not absolve his party of the sin it had committed by conceiving the plan to deprive the state of its waters.
Referring to farmers’ agitation, Badal said his government had done its best to bring relief to the community by way of free power and water supply but waiving debt was not within his rights. He alleged that politics was at play behind all agitations going on in the state.