Chandigarh, May 12: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday ridiculed Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s allegations of the Congress government in the state disrupting her poll rallies, and said it was the wrath of the people that they were venting against the sufferings meted out by the SAD on them for 10 years. Expressing surprise that the Akali leader was facing protests only in some villages and not all over the states, Captain Amarinder said the anger of the people who had been victimised for 10 years by the Badals and their cronies was now finding voice.
The fact that Harsimrat was prevented from entering a village in her own constituency only showed that Karma was catching up fast with the Badals, who had made the people of Punjab shed tears of blood over their decade-long misrule, he added. Trashing Harsimrat’s charges of misuse of official machinery by the Congress government to sabotage her campaign, Captain Amarinder said the Akalis had sabotaged their own prospects with their misdeeds, including their attempts to polarise the people with sacrilege cases.
They had put the entire official machinery in motion prior to the Assembly elections but had been routed in the polls by the wrath of the people, he said, adding that the same people had not forgotten or forgiven the Badals for the devastation wreaked on them over a decade. Harsimrat had failed to do anything for any section of Punjab’s people even as union minister in the Modi cabinet, which the people of Bathinda could see, said the Chief Minister.
She had the audacity now to seek votes from those very people whose lives she and her family had ruined, she said, adding that it was but natural that the people were protesting and not willing to hear her dish out more propaganda and falsehoods. The protest by farmer union, the Bargari Morcha and others, who had prevented Harsimrat from entering a village to address an election rally, was clearly a sign of the anger of the people, which she, in her arrogance, was refusing to acknowledge.
“Did she really expect the people to welcome her with open arms after what the Badals did to them,” Captain Amarinder asked, adding that both Bargari and the farmer suicides extremely grave issues, for which Punjab and its people could never forgive the Badals. The anger of the farmers was justified, said the Chief Minister, considering that despite Harsimrat being part of the Modi government, and SAD being an ally of Modi’s BJP, nothing had been done for the farming community all these years.
Even the Swaminathan Commission report, the only long-term solution to the woes of the farmers, was put on the backburner by the BJP-led NDA at the Centre, he pointed out. Despite this, the Badals had been shamelessly shedding crocodile tears for farmers, even attempting to instigate them against his government, which had initiated the farm loan waiver scheme in the face of extreme financial constraints, the Chief Minister noted, adding that the sins of the Akali first family were catching up with them.
Dubbing Harsimrat’s dharna as another piece of theatrics from a family that is known to indulge in street politics and drama to win elections, Captain Amarinder said these tactics failed to woo voters in 2017 and will not help the Badals connect with them this time, too. The Chief Minister said that given the outrage of the people, who did not need any encouragement and incentive to throw out the Badals, neither the Congress party nor his government needed to soil their hands by resorting to cheap tactics like obstructing their rallies or misusing official machinery.
These are the resorts of the Akalis, who have no respect for any democratic institution or for the people of Punjab, he declared. Elections are won on performance, which his government and the Congress in Punjab had already showcased, the Chief Minister said, advising Harsimrat and the rest of the Badals to start packing their bags. “Your sins are catching up with you and you will soon have no place to hide,” he warned them.