With Tarn Taran on the boil over the SAD-BJP tussle, Punjab cabinet minister and BJP leader Anil Joshi has blamed the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for senior party leader Arun Jaitley’s loss the Lok Sabha elections from Amritsar.
Joshi, who is camping in Tarn Taran to ensure that his party does well, launched another onslaught on the SAD, saying that fear and terror prevailed in the town.
Addressing mediapersons, Joshi said, “Arun Jaitley lost due to the SAD’s arrogance.”
Ironically, Jaitley had got the lead from only two assembly segments, Majitha and Rajasansi, which both have Akali MLAs. Joshi had even quit after Jaitley’s defeat, owning moral responsibility, but his resignation was not accepted by the party.
Joshi also alleged that there was no democracy in Tarn Taran and people were fed up with the SAD, but were not ready to speak out. He claimed that people were feeling threatened.
The BJP minister stated that he was not in the town for any personal interest but was camping in Tarn Taran because the party had deputed him. “Moreover, I do not need any permit to come to Tarn Taran. It is my hometown and I have come here for party work,” he added.
Taking a dig at the Akalis, Joshi said, “Our workers are facing harassment. Every report is being sent to Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma. The Akalis feel that they can win by using muscle power, but we are not afraid and will continue to work for our party.”
Ever since the Akali-BJP clash on February 10, the situation has been tense in Tarn Taran.
The SAD has denied Joshi’s charges, accusing the minister of interference and disturbing the atmosphere in the town.