Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president and Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said here on Tuesday that the 2017 assembly polls would finish the political career of state Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh as the ruling SAD was set to score a hat-trick of election victories.
Addressing the Sadbhawna rally in Amarinder’s bastion, Sukhbir mocked the former chief minister’s claims about returning to power. “The Captain will suffer defeat for the third time and it will send him into political exile forever. I advise Amarinder not to wait for turning 80, but take a world tour right now, as the Congress is set to lose to the SAD third time in a row,” said Sukhbir, while concluding the series of Sadbhawna rallies launched by the party last month after the incidents of sacrilege across the state.
In their speeches, Sukhbir and chief minister Parkash Singh Badal accused Amarinder of having a feudal mindset, being arrogant and disconnected from the public, besides blaming him for working to disturb peace in Punjab for political gains.
Badal advised Amarinder to shun the politics of confrontation. “I appeal to him to work for ensuring peace, communal harmony and brotherhood in the state, rising above petty party politics and narrow vested interests,” the CM said.
Badal said the Captain’s coronation in Bathinda reflected his monarchical psyche. He said in a democracy, words such as coronation had no place.
“It is sad that the Captain is feeling proud on being appointed state president of the Congress, a party which perpetrated heinous crimes against Sikhs,” Badal said, raking up the issues of Operation Bluestar, anti-Sikh riots and militancy in Punjab. The Congress and the radicals, who are bent upon disturbing the hard-earned peace of the state, are two sides of the same coin, he said, referring to Amarinder and hardliner Simranjit Singh Mann’s family ties.
Targeting the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Sukhbir said the AAP was the biggest ‘fraud political party’ in India. “The party had made several promises, but done nothing for the public. However, it has given a 400% hike in salary to MLAs,” he said, terming the AAP leadership in Punjab as a bunch of rejects.
State BJP president Kamal Sharma and party secretary Tarun Chugh said Amarinder had been rewarded with the Congress post for disturbing peace in Punjab.
Prominent among others present on the occasion were MPs Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Prem Singh Chandumajra, cabinet ministers Surjit Singh Rakhra, Daljit Singh Cheema, Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, and Youth Akali Dal (Malwa zone) president Harpal Juneja.