Punjab elections: Need an honest CM for state, says Kejriwal
Days ahead of the elections, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that Punjab needs an honest and a dedicated CM, and not a leader who has been accused of selling “sand” or “drugs”.
In a veiled attack on both the ruling Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that Punjab needs an honest and a dedicated chief minister, and not a leader who has been accused of selling “sand” or “drugs”.
“Today, Punjab needs a very honest chief minister. On one hand, we have people with allegations of drugs’ sale against them, who have allegations of sand mining against them. On the other hand, there’s a very honest man who never took even 25 paise from anyone,” Kejriwal said while speaking in support of AAP leader Bhagwant Mann as the party’s chief ministerial candidate and Principal Prem Kumar from Phillaur constituency
“I want to ask you that if you vote the retta chor (sand thieves) to power, do you think you will get free electricity or schools in the state will improve? No, you will not get them. Punjab needs honest people like Prem Kumar and Bhagwant Mann,” he added.
Kejriwal was referring to the recent Enforcement Directorate raids on the nephew of Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi in connection with an illegal sand mining case. The central agency last week said it had seized ₹10 crore in cash from the premises of Bhupinder Singh, Channi’s nephew, and his business partner after the searches.
The AAP convenor was also targeting SAD over the arrest of one of its leaders, Bikram Singh Majithia, in connection with a drugs case registered by the state police when he made the remarks. The Supreme Court on Thursday orally asked the Punjab government not to take any coercive step against SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia till January 31 when it hears his pre-arrest bail plea in the case.
Kejriwal also claimed that Mann lives like a common man in a rented house unlike other state leaders who own “big houses and cars”.
“When a person becomes an MLA in Punjab, he can acquire big cars and houses. But Mann has been an MP for seven years and still stays in a rented house,” the Delhi chief minister said.
Twenty-six years of Congress rule and 19 years of Akali Dal rule had drained Punjab, he said.
In an apparent bid to woo the Dalits in the state, Kejriwal asked voters to remember Dr B R Ambedkar while casting their ballot in the February 14 elections.
“I am a big fan, a big follower of B R Ambedkar. I worship him. Coming generations will not believe that such a great person was born on this planet,” he said.
“If B R Ambedkar was alive today, then what would have he done while voting…,” he added.
Youth Akali Dal president Parmanbans Singh Romana said: “Look at his triple faces... Kejriwal had once apologised to Majithia for making allegations against him.. But now that the polls are here, he has started defaming the Punjabis. Let me tell you that this time, we will not accept his apology and make sure that he will go to jail.”
Voting in the state will be held in a single phase on February 20 and the results will be declared on March 10.