Former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal on Friday alleged that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was trying to blackmail the people of Dhuri constituency by saying that in case they wanted development, they should elect Akali candidate Gobind Singh Longowal.
Bhattal said, “Badal is the chief minister of Punjab, and not only of Akalis. Such style of campaigning amounts to blackmail and is coercive in nature, which is against the norms of democratic functioning.”
She said the chief minister could not discriminate against a region just because the people here did not vote for the ruling party. She was addressing a rally in favour of the party-supported candidate Simar Pratap Singh Barnala.
Bhattal alleged that Badal continued to ignore the constituency for the past three years but started disbursing money through sangat darshan once the seat was declared vacant after the resignation of Congress MLA Arvind Khanna.
She alleged that Badal is anti-farmer as his government that had an alliance with the BJP at the Centre voted for the land acquisition ordinance in Parliament.
Bhattal came down heavily on Badal saying it was his Punjabi Suba Morcha that had divided Punjab and created Haryana and Himachal Pradesh out of it.
Bhattal said Badal should resign as the chief minister or save water from being sent to Haryana where Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government is in power.
When asked about Capt Amarinder Singh’s stand that he would campaign for Simar Pratap with his own camp, Bhattal said, “No one is campaigning separately as we are all together.”
Bhattal said Amarinder had high regards for Sonia Gandhi, that’s why he would campaign in Dhuri.
She was addressing the rally 23km from Sangrur town. She visited Roopgarh, Katron, Changali, Ghanori, Ghanor Kalan, Ghanor Khurd and Bamal. Bhattal was accompanied by Ludhiana MLA Rakesh Pandey.