Singh questions Cong’s secularism, accuses it of ‘sheer political opportunism’
Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh hit out at the Congress on Thursday for its “sheer political opportunism” in joining forces with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and inducting people like Navjot Singh Sidhu from the Sangh Parivar, a day after AICC Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat questioned his secular credentials.
Singh resigned as the CM last month after a bitter tussle with Punjab Congress chief Sidhu. On Tuesday, he said he would float a new party soon and hoped to tie up with the Bharatiya Janata Party for the forthcoming state polls. The announcement drew sharp reactions from the Congress, including Rawat who said that if Captain wants to eat crow, he can.
“Stop talking about secularism @harishrawatcmuk ji. Don’t forget @INCIndia took in @sherryontopp after he was with @BJP4India for 14 years. And where did Nana Patole and Revnath Reddy come from if not RSS? And Pargat Singh was with @Akali_Dal_ for 4 years!” said Singh’s media adviser Raveen Thukral on Twitter quoting him.
In his no-holds-barred attack, Singh also questioned the Congress’s tie-up with Shiv Sena, asking Rawat if it was okay to join forces with so-called communal parties if it suited the party’s purpose.
Responding to Rawat’s charge that he helped the Akalis, the former CM tweeted: “Today you’re accusing me of helping my rival @Akali_Dal_ for 4-and-a-half years. Is that why you think I’ve been fighting court cases against them for the last 10 years? And why I’ve won for the Congress all elections in Punjab since 2017?” Singh further said that Congress damaged its own interests by not trusting him and giving the state unit into the hands of an unstable person like Sidhu who was only loyal to himself.
Meanwhile, Sidhu and Singh traded barbs once again on Thursday after Sidhu called the ex-CM the “architect” of the three central farm laws.
“The Architect of 3 Black Laws… Who brought Ambani to Punjab’s Kisani… Who destroyed Punjab’s Farmers, Small traders and Labour for benefitting 1-2 Big Corporates!! (sic)” the PPCC chief tweeted with an old video clip of Singh in which he, as chief minister, talked about inviting private companies to the state.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at Delhi’s borders for nearly a year against the three farm laws enacted by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
Responding to Sidhu’s remarks, Singh called him a fraud and cheat for trying to pass off an old diversification initiative as being linked to the farm laws. “What a fraud and cheat you are @sherryontopp! You’re trying to pass off my 15-year-old crop diversification initiative as connected with #FarmLaws, against which I’m still fighting and with which I’ve linked my own political future!” he was quoted as saying by his media adviser Thukral in a series of tweets.