Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said he would “aggressively” campaign against the Badals in Bathinda and Ferozepur, the two Lok Sabha from where SAD leaders Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal, respectively, are contesting.
“We have to cleanse Punjab of the Badals,” Amarinder Singh said, adding that he planned to spend two days each in Bathinda and Ferozepur Lok Sabha constituencies to campaign against them.
He said he would “expose the lies of the Badals on drugs and other issues,” and would ensure that the people are not “misled by their fabrications”.
Amarinder Singh accompanied MLA and Congress candidate for Bathinda, Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, who filed his nomination papers on Thursday.
Finance Minister Manpreet Badal and other senior Congress leaders were also present during the filing of nomination papers.
The chief minister exuded confidence that the Congress will sweep the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab.
He referred to sacrilege incidents and police firing on those protesting such incidents in 2015 when the Akalis were in power, saying the people of the state had not forgotten Bargari or Kotkapura, “which were a brazen attempt by the Badals to create communal tension”.
“(Former chief minister) Parkash Singh Badal had no business intervening in the Bargari investigation, and the Election Commission crossed its line in shifting out a key SIT officer (IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh) probing the incident,” Amarinder Singh said.
Asserting that he had “broken the backbone of drugs”, as promised, Amarinder Singh said the state government was battling drugs on various fronts, particularly the attempts of Pakistan’s ISI to push in drugs through Kashmir, Gujarat and other states.
Asked to comment on Pratap Singh Bajwa’s remarks against the Congress high command’s decision to pin responsibility for electoral performance on ministers and MLAs of the party in Punjab, Amarinder Singh said while victory or defeat is the responsibility of the entire party, senior leaders have to be held more accountable.
He warned that senior leaders found trying to sabotage the prospects of any candidate would have to face the consequences of their actions.
About Gurdaspur poll scenario in the light of BJP nominating actor Sunny Deol against state Congress president Sunil Jakhar, Amarinder Singh said the reports from the ground there were in favour of the Congress, and his party would sweep the polls.
Earlier, speaking in Fatehgarh Sahib, Amarinder Singh put the blame squarely on the Akalis for the spate of desecrations in 2015, and the police firing incidents in Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura, that rocked the state during their regime.
He accused the Badals of trying to “divide the people and polarise the communities in Punjab”.
“They did nothing to control the situation and allowed it to get out of hand, which clearly indicated their involvement in the Behbal Kalan and other incidents,” the chief minister said, addressing a public rally in support of Congress candidate from Fatehgarh Sahib, Amar Singh, who filed his nomination papers on Thursday.
“Just one more month for you to enjoy, and then you will meet your fate,” he warned the Badals, adding that they should remember they cannot escape their sins forever”.
“The Sikhs would never forget or forgive them for the defilement of their holy scripture,” he said.