Unfazed by the change of guard in the Punjab Congress, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has said Captain Amarinder Singh’s coming in as its leader will not brighten the party’s prospects in the 2017 assembly elections.
Interacting with the media at Jehangir village on the sidelines of sangat darshan programmes in the Khadoor Sahib assembly segment on Friday, the CM said leadership change was the internal matter of the Congress but Amarinder’s would make no difference to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). “I don’t see how Amarinder is going to have an impact on the SAD’s bright prospects of coming to power again in 2017. Our poll plank will be peace, development, and prosperity,” he said, pointing out the Congress had lost two Punjab elections in a row (2007 and 2012) under Captain’s leadership.
“For us, every Congress president is alike, so we are least concerned about the new development,” Badal quipped. However, he hoped that Amarinder would work towards promoting peace and communal harmony, and fighting the divisive forces that had gone active.
Earlier, addressing the sangat darshan gatherings at Kalaah, Kang, Banian and Jehangir villages, the CM exhorted people to not let anyone push the state back into the days of militancy. “We suffered a lot and lost 21,000 innocent lives in those turbulent times,” he said, adding: “Devote a day to maintaining communal harmony; come to the Sadbhwana rallies. The numbers will deter militancy from raising its head again.”
Lok Sabha member Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and local Akali leaders were present.