Sardulgarh, May 8: The Punjab Congress on Wednesday further raised the pitch in the high-profile Bathinda poll battle, with party candidate Amrinder Singh Raja Warring dubbing SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal as “General Dyer-2” for the unprovoked police firing on peaceful protestors in Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura, even as Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh declared that his party would not allow the secular ideology of the nation to be destroyed at any cost.
Going on a mega offensive against the Akalis and their allies, the BJP, Captain Amarinder said only the Congress could ensure Punjab’s and the country’s progress and promised to fill up the 1.2 lakh vacancies that the previous government completely ignored during their tenure, which they spent misusing the government funds and resources. The Congress government in Punjab had already faciliated more than 8 lakh jobs in the state in just two years, as against the mere 40000 given by the SAD-BJP government in 10 years, he said.
Setting the tone for the party’s election rally here this afternoon, Warring, who is pitted against SAD heavyweight Harsimrat Badal, lambasted Sukhbir Badal, who was then deputy chief minister and home minister in Punjab, of behaving as General Dyer 2 by ordering opening of fire on peacefully protesting ‘Sangat’ who were hurt by the desecration of their “Guru sahib”. They then covered up the crime to save the guilty cops, he said, warning people that those who voted for the Akalis would become a part of the sacrilege too.
Adding his voice to Warring’s, the Chief Minister said the firings could not have taken place without permission from then CM Prakash Singh Badal. They perpetuated and covered up these shameful incidents for their political interests, he said, warning Badal that investigations into the cases will be completed soon and nobody found guilty of the shameful acts would be spared. Gunning for Harsimrat, Captain Amarinder said the way she goes around shrieking and shouting does not behoove a serious politician.
“You have seen what she did in 10 years,” he told the people, adding that Warring would raise their concerns in Parliament. The Chief Minister flayed Harsimrat and the other Akalis for the diversion of gunny bags to Haryana, adding that it was obvious they did not care for the farmers. His government, however, had arranged for the bags from U.P and would not allow the farmers to suffer, he declared.
Seeking a vote for change and for the protection of the nation’s secular fabric, Captain Amarinder asserted that India belonged to all religions, which was its strength, and the Congress would not allow anyone to destroy its cherished secular values. Taking on Narendra Modi over his failure to fulfill any promise, the Chief Minister said the prime minister had been fooling people with his `jumlas’, and his attempts to take credit for the armed forces’ victory only to divide the nation.
The Modi government did nothing for any section of the society, particularly the farmers, who were reduced to desperate straits because of their anti-farmer policies. It was the Congress government in Punjab which came to the farmers’ rescue with the loan waiver scheme, he said, adding that Rahul Gandhi had also promised waiver of debts for farmers across the country once the party comes to power. The Chief Minister triggered an emotional cord with the people, pointing to the fact that Baba Sardul Singh, son of Baba Ala Singh, had died here, giving the place a special significance for Sikhs and his family.