Punjab leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema addressing a press conference after inaugurating the Aam Aadmi Party office in Bathinda on Thursday. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT)
Punjab leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema addressing a press conference after inaugurating the Aam Aadmi Party office in Bathinda on Thursday. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT)

Busy settling scores with Capt, Sidhu’s forgotten Punjab: AAP

Aam Aadmi Party leader Harpal Singh Cheema accuses newly appointed state Congress chief of taking support of corrupt leaders to belittle Capt Amarinder Singh
By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON JUL 22, 2021 04:15 PM IST

Leader of opposition in the Punjab assembly Harpal Singh Cheema on Thursday accused newly appointed Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu of taking support of corrupt politicians to strengthen his position in the party.

Addressing a press conference after opening the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) office in Bathinda, Cheema said to settle political scores with chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Sidhu is busy seeking support of Congress legislators.

Also read: Sidhu to be crowned as Punjab Congress chief on Friday

He said the AAP hailed Sidhu when he raised issues of misgovernance by the Amarinder Singh-led government.

“But now to unsettle Amarinder politically, Sidhu is visiting residences of those Congress leaders whose names figure in liquor and natural resources mafia. Since his appointment, Sidhu has not raised any burning issue of Punjab but is busy garnering the support of the corrupt to belittle Amarinder,” he said.

Cheema, however, refrained from taking the name of any Congress leader while making the allegation.

He said Punjab is under a debt of 3 lakh crore out of which more than 90,000 crore was recorded under the present state government since 2017.

“Overlooking people’s issues, Amarinder is repeatedly issuing statements that Sidhu should seek an apology from him. The state Congress president has said several times that his party failed to keep all key promises made in the run-up to the 2017 assembly polls. Sidhu and the CM should tender an unconditional public apology for their party’s failure to perform in the last four-and-half years,” said Cheema.

Gearing up for polls

To a question, Cheema said the party has yet to start identifying candidates for next year’s elections.

“The party is not in hurry to announce candidatures but our volunteers are in election mode. The AAP will finalise names after a survey to find fit candidates in all segments. We will soon announce halqa in-charges and it has been decided that these leaders will not contest the elections,” he said.

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