The Cong ress has made cannon fodder of reluctant candidates but looked afraid to push Rahul Gandhi forward as PM candidate while staring down the barrel in the Lok Sabha battle, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has said.
Projecting the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as a “big hope for Punjab”, Badal said the NDA victory would usher a new era of development in the state, in border villages especially.
Addressing a huge campaign gathering in favour of Arun Jaitley, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate for the Amritsar parliamentary seat, here on Saturday, the CM said even Jaitley’s opponent, Capt Amarinder Singh, was one of the reluctant candidates pushed into a losing cause. “Amarinder was is busy making just misleading statements,” said Badal.
Seeking votes for Jaitley in the rally that Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Veer Singh Lopoke had organised, Badal said: “Jaitley will be the voice of the people of Punjab and its border district of Amritsar in Parliament.”
He accused the successive Congress regimes at the Centre of discriminating against Punjab.
He raked up the issue of the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom in Delhi and highlighted that after the 29 years of the massacre, the affected family had received no justice. “Amarinder feels that if he speaks a lie 10 times, people will take it as truth. He never talks about corruption, unemployment, and price rise during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime. He is no match for a sagacious and intellectual Jaitley.”
Ex minister joins SAD
Congress leader and former state transport minister Parminder Singh Sandhu on Saturday joined the Shiromani Akali Dal. Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal welcomed Sandhu and another leader, Mohan Singh Matia, to the party.