Hitting back at Congress candidate from Amritsar Capt Amarinder Singh for issuing warning to him over "arm-twisting", Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majitha on Saturday asked Amarinder to learn from his own misadventure with 'khunda' in the previous Vidhan Sabha elections before indulging in boastfulness on "brandishing swords and lathis".
In a statement issued here, Majithia said he was taken by surprise and amusement when he read that Amarinder was coming to 'Guru Ki Nagri' brandishing a sword and wielding a lathi.
"People come to the holy city with humility in their hearts and prayers on their lips, but Amarinder is the first Sikh to talk about marching towards Amritsar brandishing his swords and lathis, revealing his ugly mindset, which shows that he is coming here as an aggressor,"said Majithia.
"I would humbly like to remind him that many like him came here before not only with swords and lathis but even with tanks, guns and mortars, but the Maajha's brave-hearts blunted their pride and packed them back, scurrying like frightened cats with their tails tucked in. If he is coming here with naked swords, I advise him to sheathe them and approach Amritsar as everyone else does - as a humble devotee. Otherwise, he better be prepared to lick the dust,"said the revenue minister.
Majithia, however, said: "As an old man who has already ruined his health with over-indulgence, Captain perhaps needs a lathi for support.""That is its only use for you now. And in that case, we don't mind,"said the Akali leader, adding Captain doesn't realise that his laathi can't scare even children and he is talking about scaring the martial people of Maajha.
The cabinet minister said he had been reading Amarinder's outbursts and was dismayed by the tone and tenor of his statements.
"As a senior leader, he is expected to set an example in decency in public speech. I am still waiting to see if all these statements issued on his behalf are owned by him or not, because I still find it hard to believe that a former Punjab chief minister would talk like a petty ruffian. But, if he thinks that the language in which he wants to talk to the people of Amritsar, then let me assure him that the brave sons of Majha will meet his challenge as they had done with hundreds of others in history,"said Majithia.
The revenue minister said that he and his party believed in a positive, issue-based and people-oriented campaign in which there was no place for empty bluster. "We are treating this election as an opportunity to bring a pro-Punjab and pro-people government at the Center. We have been offered a great opportunity in the choice of a senior leader like Arun Jaitely through whom Punjab will get a powerful voice at the Centre and avenues for development for the state will open in a big way. This is our principle focus,"he added.
He averred that Captain wanted to distract people's attention from positive issues and reduced it to some sort of an ugly and abusive quarrel. "For us, it is a serious business concerning the interests of our state and its stakes in the new government at the Centre,"he maintained.