Reacting to the outburst of Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu that her husband won't campaign in Punjab because of a rift with the Akalis, Arun Jaitley, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate for this Lok Sabha seat, said: "When he (Sidhu) had a talk with me before going (to Bangladesh), I had a different impression."
Jaitley, who had been confident that Sidhu would campaign for him, now "won't say much". Sidhu's wife had even said that the sitting MP had sacrificed his seat for Jaitley, to which the BJP nominee said on Saturday: "Why should I join an issue with a lady. I have always said that my relationship with Sidhu is different from politics and I always respect his views."
The MP has said categorically that he won't campaign is Punjab, since that is the "wish of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal". Asked to react, state BJP president Kamal Sharma said he was still confident that Sidhu would campaign.
On Capt's image of Indira Gandhi
After his Congress rival, Captain Amarinder Singh, termed Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal a "coward", Jaitley hit back, saying: "There is duplicity in his words. He is in the company of those responsible for Operation Bluestar and the 1984 massacre."
On Amarinder's accusing Advani, Jaitley said: "I didn't know that Amarinder had such a poor impression of (late prime minister) Indira Gandhi that she worked under the pressure of Advani. Indiraji is no more and Amarinder should give her a better tribute."
Reacting to Amarinder's demanding a fact-finding mission, Jaitley said: "One day he says don't reopen old wounds, now he wants to know the truth. You shouldn't make a statement just because you can speak. Till today, the Congress has not disclosed the help it took from British intelligence. We have the statement of (UK Prime Minister) David Cameron but not a word from (PM) Dr Manmohan Singh. Now someone from his party wants to know the truth."
"I expected a better level of politics from Amarinder," said the opponent, adding that in Punjab, he was pleased to know all people except Amarinder. "He has a legacy but the language he uses is disappointing and mere aggressive speech doesn't make truth. I know many Congress leaders who are more cultured," he said.
Reacting to Amarinder's accusing the Akalis of using arm-twisting tactics, Jaitley said: "The Congress should look a little inward. The way it has misused the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) gives all the answers."