For Congress, Captain Amarinder Singh is the new “gladiator”, at least where ever Punjabis are. A day after the first session of 15th Punjab assembly came to an end on Wednesday, the Punjab chief minister reached the national capital to campaign for the party in the municipal corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken had invited Amarinder — credited for party’s landslide victory in Punjab elections — to woo voters on the Sikh-dominated seats.
As Amarinder reached Delhi on Thursday evening, party’s Delhi unit hosted a grand reception for him on Subhash Nagar Road with slogans — “Punjab mein baazi maari hai, ab Dilli ki baari hai (We have conquered Punjab, now it is Delhi’s turn)”.
Wiped out of Delhi in state elections of 2015, the Congress is banking on Amarinder to halt the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) juggernaut after its chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal faced poll reverses in Goa and Punjab. The Congress has also to counter an emboldened BJP, which has formed the government in all other four states that went to polls in February, barring Punjab.
“The people of Punjab have defeated Kejriwal’s nefarious designs and it was now the turn of the people of Delhi to finish off whatever is left of the AAP leader in the coming MCD elections,” Amarinder said while addressing a civic reception organised at Subhash Nagar in West Delhi.
The Punjab CM also warned the people of Delhi against trusting the BJP with their votes, pointing out that the BJP was an ally of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab and together they had looted the small state, leaving it with a huge debt of ₹1.82 lakh crore.
The Punjab CM will also call on Congress president Sonia Gandhi who is back after her medical treatment abroad and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Amarinder is likely to take up the appointment of new Punjab Congress chief with the Gandhis in the meeting. The post has fallen vacant after Amarinder took over as the CM. He is likely to return to Chandigarh on Sunday after two-day campaign.
After PSPCL, PIDB on Capt’s agenda
The CM will chair a meeting of Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) on Monday after returning from Delhi MC poll campaign. Though the CM is its chairman, the board had funded the urban and rural missions of former deputy CM Sukhbir Badal and in words of Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal, even PIDB’s future earnings have been mortgaged. The overhaul of the board is next on agenda of the new government after the state cabinet amended rules to bring a new chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) by making the terms of Sukhbir-appointed CMD KD Chaudhri untenable.