Punjab chief miniser Prakash Singh Badal on Sunday said the victory of BJP candidate Arun Jaitley would benefit not only Amritsar but the whole state as the latter would get an important portfolio if NDA formed the next government at the Centre.
"Punjab as a whole and Amritsar specially is lucky that we have got Arun Jaitley as our candidate whom we are going to elect to Parliament. He will get an important ministry in the Delhi government which is going to be formed under Narendra Modi. Imagine, how big a benefit this is to Punjab," Badal said at a rally at Majitha near Amritsar.
Jaitley is taking on Congress heavyweight Amarinder Singh from Amristar Lok Sabha seat, dominated by Sikh voters. The seat is currently held by BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu. He has won the seat for three times in a row.
Earlier, Badal had pitched Jaitely as the future deputy prime minister, raising many hackles in the saffron outfit. Jaitely had played down the suggestion, saying he was not looking for positions.
Badal lambasted the UPA government for allegedly ignoring the cause of Punjab, and said industry were going out of the state due to the Centre's policy of giving concession to industry in other states.
Badal rejected the allegation levelled against him by Amarinder Singh and said Congress was responsible for the Operation Bluestar and the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
Speaking before Badal, Jaitley said the UPA has made the country weak and referred to the recent intrusions by China and beheading of soldiers along the Pakistan border.
Jaitley, who is contesting Lok Sabha elections for the first time, said the people of India had already decided to throw away Congress and form the next government under Modi.
Asked if Sikh prisoners languishing in jails would be released if NDA came to power, Jailtey said legal process would follow. "All these things happens under the legal process... Home ministry examines, ask comments from the state," he said, adding that each case is decided separately and so "there cannot be a general comment".
To another query related to acquisition of land of Sikhs by the Gujarat government, Jaitely said, "Modi has announced that not even one inch of land will be taken and the matter is closed. Lawyers will look into the legal process."