Punjab deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday said the entire opposition in the state had been “exposed” as both the Congress and AAP stayed away from the assembly bypoll in Khadoor Sahib fearing “a humiliating defeat”.
Addressing gatherings at several places in the segment, he pointed towards the “hypocrisy” of former Congress MLA Ramanjit Sikki who had resigned from the Vidhan Sabha following alleged inaction into the incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib. This had necessitated the bypoll. While the Congress has boycotted the poll citing inaction still in the sacrilege case, the AAP says it wants to concentrate on the 2017 polls instead. “Sikki should tell people why he joined the Congress in the first place. How could he contest elections from a party which demolished the Akal Takht and whose hands are stained with the blood of innocent Sikhs massacred in Delhi in 1984?” Sukhbir said.
On Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh, he said “The Congress claims he is a ‘babbar sher’ (lion). What kind of lion runs away from a battle? You know what such people are called!”
According to a party release, Sukhbir also hit out at the AAP and its leader, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, saying that there was “a need to understand Kejriwal’s personality”.
“This person first claimed he would not contest elections. Then he swore by his son that he would not form a post-poll alliance with the Congress. He also promised his MLAs would not take any salary or facilities... Kejriwal reneged on all his promises.”
He added, “What will this man do in Punjab? With the obstructionist policies he follows, he could come in the way of smooth wheat and paddy procurement in the state.”
He sought to “remind” people of the “unique social and welfare schemes initiated by successive SAD-BJP governments”, and claimed that money had flowed into the rural economy in Punjab “only during SAD-BJP rule”. He mentioned the policy of free power supply for the agriculture sector, besides other schemes. He claimed his regime had recruited one lakh youth in the last five years and “will recruit another 1.2 lakh persons”.
SAD MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, his son and SAD candidate Ravinder Brahmpura, and senior leaders Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Sewa Singh Sekhwan and Dr Daljit Cheema also spoke, said a press release by the party.