Tempers ran high at a Congress protest rally in chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s assembly constituency on Saturday when two groups of party workers clashed while state Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh was present on the stage to address a gathering.
The incident comes close on the heels of Congress MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa slapping a party leader before Amarinder’s rally at Dinanagar on June 8.
The clash took place when supporters of district Congress president Gurmeet Singh Khudian objected to making of a video of party leader Jagpal Singh Abukhurana when he was addressing the workers from the stage. Soon, members of both the groups came to blows.
Two party workers, identified as Jaspal Kala, a supporter of Abukhurana, and Gurbaaz Singh owing allegiance to Khudian, were injured. Blood stains were seen on cloths of some of the party leaders after the clash. However, Congress leaders tried to downplay the incident.
Later, leading a protest against the alleged recruitment scam, Amarinder accused the Badal family of indulging in corruption. “Everyone, including a front man of the CM involved in the scam, will be put behind the bars if Congress forms the next government in the state,” he said.
Accusing Muktsar unit chief of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Dyal Singh Kolianwali of involvement in the scam, Amarinder said he would meet the same fate as that of Ravi Sidhu, former chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission, who was arrested and sentenced for corruption. He has spent most of his time in jail since then. Kolianwali could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
Amarinder said those squeezing the hard-earned money of the poor would not be spared at any cost. He said the CM’s front man Kolianwali also manages the black money of the Akalis.
Alleging that the Akalis would use money power in the assembly polls, the former chief minster said: “I will not stop people from taking money from them as it’s their own money looted by the ruling party, but they should not vote for them as it will be detrimental for the state.”
Referring to the agricultural crisis in the state, Amarinder said when his party would form the government, it would continue with free electricity to farmers. He said 300 units of free electricity would be given to the Dalits and the downtrodden. The amount under “Shagun” scheme would be enhanced to `51,000 and the old-age, widow and handicapped pension to Rs 2,000 per month, he added.
Later, addressing a press conference, Amarinder said the Congress would not allow auction of land of debt-ridden farmers. Alleging that the SAD was behind the deteriorating law and order situation in the state, Amarinder said: “The situation suits them as it confuses the people.”
Speaking on the occasion, state Congress vice-president Manpreet Singh Badal alleged that the name Sukhbir Badal had become “synonymous with corruption”. “Corruption has gone into Sukhbir’s blood and his greed is multiplying. So much so that his servants have also amassed huge wealth through corruption which has become the trademark of the Badals,” he added.
Senior Congress leader and state unit vice-president Sunil Jakhar compared the state recruitment scam with the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh.
The protest was attended by CLP leader Charanjit Singh Channi, Punjab Congress senior vice-president Lal Singh, Indian Youth Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, and Congress secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Chaudhary.