Former chief minister and deputy leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh seems confident of his party coming to power in 2017.
"The Congress does not need any allies or alliances for the assembly polls as it was already in a strong position to wrest power from the SAD-BJP alliance on its own," the Amritsar MP stated while replying to a media query after addressing an impressive party rally at Amarkot, a border town, on Tuesday.
Asked whether he favoured or looked forward to an alliance with some like-minded parties in Punjab as it was happening in Bihar, Captain said the situation here was entirely different. When pointed out that some of his senior party leaders were favouring a similar type of alliance in Punjab, he chose to make it clear that everybody was entitled to his or her opinion but the ground situation of the party in Punjab does not really require any alliance.
'Be cautious against Akali allurements'
Earlier, while addressing the rally, Amarinder cautioned the people against last- minute allurements that the Akalis will offer before the assembly polls. It is an old ploy of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to make all sorts of promises so as to steal votes with deceit, claimed Amarinder.
The rally was organised by the Tarn Taran district Congress committee president Sukhpal Bhullar and Khem Karan assembly segment in-charge and former minister Gurchet Singh Bhullar.
Amarinder asserted that the response to his rallies across the state clearly indicates that the Congress would be storming to power in Punjab with a landslide mandate. Moreover, Badal has grown too old and can no longer govern the state, he added.
Captain said he had been repeatedly asking the chief minister to list one single achievement that he could claim of his own for Punjab. "But Badal is yet to come out with an answer to my question," he added.
Referring to the 'atta daal' scheme, the Congress MP sought to know from the public (poor families) whether they were getting their due quota of wheat or pulses. When there was no response from the crowd, Amarinder said the scheme was launched only to fool the people at the time of elections.
"The moment they (SAD leaders) won the elections, they forgot that they had promised 'atta daal' to the poor", said Amarinder pointing out that other schemes, including old age and widow pensions, were facing a similar fate.
"If we come to power, we will increase the old age and widow pension to Rs 2,000 a month. Likewise, we will increase the amount of shagun scheme to `50,000," promised Amarinder.
Action against Valtoha :
Responding to demands by Sukhpal Bhullar and MLAs Ramanjit Singh Sikki and Rana Gurjeet Singh, Amarinder promised that local Akali MLA and chief parliamentary secretary CPS Virsa Singh Valtoha will be subjected to the same fate and treatment he has meted out to Congress workers.
"We will make him accountable for each and every false FIR he has got registered against our workers. He will run for cover and nobody will protect him", Amarinder said. Among others who spoke on the occasion were MLAs Sukhjinder Randhawa, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Gurkirat Kotli and Sukh Sarkaria.
Amarinder pays homage to Abdul Hamid
Asal Uttar (Khemkaran Sector): Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday paid homage to Havildar Abdul Hamid, the 1965 war hero and the Param Vir Chakra awardee.
Accompanied by several Congress leaders, Amarinder visited the martyr's memorial on the Khem Karan---Bhikiwind road. He recalled that Abdul Hamid had shown exemplary courage during the war and had held his position for three days and damaged four Pakistani Patton tanks in the Battle of Asal Uttar. He said the brave jawan of the 4 Grenadiers laid down his life for the motherland and set a great example of valour and courage for others to follow.
Amarinder, who was the ADC to then western command chief Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh in 1965, recalled his experiences during the war. He pointed out that the Battle of Asal Uttar is even today considered as the worst defeat of the Pakistan army in a single battle.
He said while the soldiers showed great bravery in the battle field, the common people along the border also displayed great courage during that time and openly came out to assist the army and refused to leave their homes.