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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Bypoll outcome won’t be a mandate on our govt’s performance: Capt

The CM also said he is confident of winning on all the four seats in the upcoming bypolls in the state

india Updated: Oct 19, 2019 00:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Phagwara
Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh with Sant Niranjan Das, head of Dera Sachkhand Ballan, in Jalandhar on Friday
Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh with Sant Niranjan Das, head of Dera Sachkhand Ballan, in Jalandhar on Friday(HT PHOTO)
         

Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh said on Friday that even as he is confident of winning on all the four seats in the upcoming bypolls in the state, the election outcome will not be a mandate on the performance of the Congress government led by him.

Speaking to mediapersons during a roadshow in support of Congress’ Phagwara candidate Balwinder Singh, a former IAS officer, the CM said the poll results can’t be a “referendum” on the government’s working since the Congress’ manifesto is for five years and they have only completed the half-term.

The roadshow that started from Congress’ office in Phagwara city around 11:30am passed through Nangal, Nihalgarh, Darvesh Pind and Hardaspur villages in the constituency and concluded on Nanak Nagri road at 3:30pm.

On the allegations made by Punjab BJP chief Shwait Malik that terrorism is gripping the state, Amarinder said Malik didn’t know the reality and is making statements for political gains.

“We know the situation in Punjab. We busted 24 terror module and as many as 130 people are in jail. More than 400 weapons have been seized. The BJP is resorting to scaremongering,” he added.

On the issue of the joint celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the CM said he hoped that Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal will not undermine the authority of the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of Sikhism.

Asked about the relief granted to six Punjab Police personnel convicted in cases dating back to militancy days, Amarinder said the central government has also decided to release seven out of 22 Sikh political prisoners. “The matter dragged long enough and needed to be brought to a logical end. Most of those the Centre has decided to release are in jail prisons for up to 25 years. Some are as old as 80 years. Their release is justified on humanitarian grounds,” he said.

“People like Sumedh Singh Saini (former Punjab DGP) will have to pay for the wrongs he committed, and if he had violated the law he should be held liable for it,” he added.

Replying to a question on three conditions put by the Pakistan government on the Kartarpur corridor, he said, “I totally disagree with requirement of passport, 30-day advance online application and $20 per pilgrim fee. A meeting is scheduled on October 20 and we have informed the Centre that the Punjab government will not accept this.”

CM visits Dera Sachkhand Ballan

Earlier, the CM along with Congress’ Punjab affairs in-charge Asha Kumari and some party leaders from Doaba visited the Dera Sachkhand Ballan in Jalandhar district to woo the Dalit voters who play a decisive role in the Phagwara and Mukerian segments. The dera is a prominent centre of the Ravidasia community.

SAD vice-president joins Cong

In a setback to the Akali Dal, its state vice president Paramjit Singh Raipur joined the Congress at Phagwara in the presence of CM Amarinder. Raipur’s nephew Tanmanjeet Dhesi is MP in Slough, UK.

PHOTO CAPTION

(From left) Kartarpur MLA Surinder Chaudhary (wearing white shirt); state affairs incharge Asha Kumari; Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Sant Niranjan Das, head of Dera Sachkhand Ballan, and Chabbewal MLA Dr Raj Kumar Verka at Dera Sachkhand Ballan in Jalandhar on Friday.