BJP defaming Punjabiyat: Cong on ED raids against Channi’s relative
New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday accused the BJP and its government at the Centre of defaming Punjab and Punjabiyat by raiding a relative of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi in an old case, and said the people of the state will give a befitting reply to the saffron party in the upcoming assembly polls.
Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the BJP government is insulting a Dalit who was made the chief minister of Punjab and the Dalits and backward classes would not forgive the party for this.
e also accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of working in cahoots with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as its convenor Arvind Kejriwal was the first to attack Channi over the raids conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Surjewala alleged that the ED has turned into the “election department” of the BJP.
“Today we saw the limit of vindictiveness. To seek revenge on a Dalit chief minister, the ED has been unleashed in Punjab, with which the chief minister and his family have nothing to do. The BJP is taking revenge on a Dalit chief minister.
“The ED is not the enforcement directorate but the BJP’s election department,” he told reporters.
Surjewala also alleged that the AAP and the BJP are working together, adding that when the prime minister’s convoy was stalled in Punjab, it was the Arvind Kejriwal-led party that jumped in his defence.
“Today, it was Kejriwal who gave the first statement on the raids. In Punjab, Uttrakhand and Goa, the AAP and the BJP are working together. One does a wrong act and the other supports it.
“Today, when the ED is raiding on baseless charges, Kejriwal launches the first assault. But the people of Punjab know the meaning of collaboration between Modi and the AAP. Modi has assaulted the dignity of the poor and the Scheduled Castes. They are unable to digest a Dalit as a chief minister. But three crore Punjabis will decide the future,” he said.
Surjewala also alleged that Modi and Kejriwal are conspiring to malign Punjab. “Is it not true that the BJP labelled the people of Punjab as Naxals and anti-India? The BJP is constantly conspiring to defame Punjab and Punjabiyat. When the prime minister’s convoy was stalled, BJP leaders called Punjabis Khalistanis. Did anyone stop him?” he asked.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Punjab Harish Chaudhary said according to all the surveys, Channi is the most popular leader in Punjab.
He said Punjabis were maligned during the farmers’ agitation, but Punjabiyat stood strong.
“The BJP is forgetting that this is not Amarinder Singh, this is Channi. The attempt to muzzle Channi is a mistake. He will keep standing tall. The BJP is anxious with the good governance of Channi,” Chaudhary said.
Asked if Channi is so popular, would he be named as the chief ministerial candidate of the Congress for the February 14 Punjab Assembly polls, he said, “That is not the question. The question is whether ED raids can muzzle Channi or Punjabis. Who will be the chief minister is secondary.” Chaudhary said the ED raids are aimed at putting pressure on the Congress, but the leaders of the party will not be deterred by this.
A level-2 fire broke out in a supermarket in the Powai area of Mumbai Thursday morning, according to civic officials. The blaze was reported in the Haiko Supermarket on the main street of Hiranandani locality in Powai at around 6.05am. At least eight fire engines and five jumbo tankers were rushed to the site to douse the fire. There was no report of any casualty, the officials said.
Owing to continuous rain, educational institutions in several parts of Karnataka will remain shut on Thursday. Top officials in the 4 districts of Karnataka - namely Udupi, Kodagu, Hassan and Uttara Kannada -- have declared holiday for Anganwadi schools and colleges amid the 'red alert' issued by the weather department. The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted extremely heavy rain, ranging above 204.5 mm for these 4 cities.
Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu B Chavan appealed to people not to sacrifice cattle for the Bakrid festival while warning of stern action against the offenders. The Minister emphasised the Cow Slaughter Prohibition Act has already been in force in Karnataka. Generally, during the Bakrid festival, there is a tradition of sacrifice, for which livestock such as cow, ox, calf and camels are also used, said Chavan.
Chandigarh Chandigarh administrator Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for a synthetic running track at Sukhna Lake. UT adviser Dharam Pal, said, “The Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee had earlier given its go-ahead for the proposal. Next, the detailed plan and cost estimates will be prepared; and then, tenders will be floated for the project.” A UT official said the proposed track is part of the administration's efforts to give Sukhna Lake a major facelift.
The National Highway Authority of India has approved two over-bridges, which are likely to reduce travel time between Kalka and Zirakpur and alleviate traffic jams on the stretch by next year. NHAI has already floated tenders for the 60-m wide over-bridges, which will be constructed at a cost of ₹50 crore. It has invited bids for the “construction and site improvement of the four-lane national highway (NH-22) on the Zirakpur-Parwanoo junction.”