Claiming that the Congress will improve its tally of seats from eight in Punjab, AICC general secretary and Punjab Congress Affairs incharge Shakeel Ahmad on Friday said the Congress decision to field senior leaders had made the SADBJP alliance in Punjab panic.
Talking to HT before heading for Gurdaspur, Ahmad said, “Before the party tickets were allotted, we felt we were trailing in Punjab, but as soon as senior leaders, especially Capt Amarinder Singh, were pushed into the poll fray, the scenario changed.”
He said, “I see Capt Amarinder Singh far ahead. The anti-incumbency against the SAD-BJP combine is strong. Be it the issue of property tax or that of drugs, people are fed up with the state government. Moreover, the charisma of Amarinder attracts people.”
The Congress leader said, “With the coming of Amarinder to Amritsar, the body language of the SAD-BJP leaders has changed and the mood in the Congress camp is upbeat.”
He said senior party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi would campaign in Punjab; they were also planning road shows and the security angle was being looked into.
Ahmad said political parties should avoid raking up sensitive issues such as Operation Bluestar.
Meanwhile, addressing a rally at Kalanaur, Ahmad asked people to reject the “divisive” BJP and its prime ministerial candidate so that the secular character of the country could be maintained.
The rally in favour of Congress candidate from Gurdaspur Partap Singh Bajwa was organised by District Congress Committee president and Dera Baba Nanak MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.
Ahmad condemned Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for bestowing on Narendra Modi the title of Sardar, saying it was an open secret how Modi was destroying the Punjab farmers settled in Gujarat.
Alleging that the BJP was corrupt to the core, Ahmad questioned if the party would explain who was sponsoring its Rs 10,000 crore election campaign.
Taking a dig at the SAD-BJP government in Punjab, Ahmad said it was a matter of shame for the Badal government that state minister Bikram Majithia and two other Akali leaders were allegedly involved in drug racket but no action was taken against them.
Ahmad said there was need to save the Punjabi youth from getting trapped in drug addiction.