Will not let you off the hook on sacrilege issue, Capt warns Sukhbir - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Will not let you off the hook on sacrilege issue, Capt warns Sukhbir

Will not let you off the hook on sacrilege issue, Capt warns Sukhbir

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 14

From bringing back to the centre stage the emotive issue of sacrilege and subsequent police firing to candidly admitting that the practice of voters questioning poll candidates is a healthy trend, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh in a free-wheeling interview with The Tribune admits it will not going to be a walk through for the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls, though it has largely overcome the opposition.

Taking on SAD president Sukhbir Badal, who has accused Capt Amarinder of hobnobbing with radicals to divert attention from performance of his government, the Chief Minister warns Badal Jr that he would not let him off the hook on the sacrilege issue and will hold them accountable for it.

Giving a review of the ongoing campaign of the Congress, the scion of the Patiala royal family says there is competition, somewhere more somewhere less, hastening to add that things are working in the party’s favour. He completely rules out the Badal family winning the Bathinda and Ferozepur seats.

Read also: (As directed by Amarinder, Sidhu not to campaign for Cong in Punjab, says wife)

On the opposition parties taking on the ruling Congress for non-performance in the last two years, the Chief Minister says it is time to seek PM Modi’s report card and not his. He will give his report card in 2022 when the assembly elections are held, Capt Amarinder said.

Silencing his critics on his recent statement terming Gurdaspur candidate and PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar as “future CM”, the Chief Minister says the statement should not be seen as party’s immediate game plan, but it would happen in due course as Punjab needs a forward looking, intelligent and good manager to sail the state through impending crisis.

For Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had so far been keeping away from Punjab (before being seen in Priyanka Gandhi’s rallies at Bathinda), the Chief Minister hands down a piece of advice saying it is his state and he does not need any special invite to campaign here.

Excerpts from the interview:

Do you think this time the battle is tougher for the Congress in Punjab? If it is anti-incumbency sentiment against PM Modi, the same can be said for you in the state?

Our test would come in 2022, when we are fighting the assembly elections. Today, it is Modi’s test as he has to prove what he has done in last five years. In 2022, I will prove to people that I have performed.

Are stakes high for the Congress on seats like Bathinda, Ferozepur, Gurdaspur and Sangrur?

Competition is everywhere. Times have changed, people are questioning candidates and parties on issues. Do not think it is going to be a walk through for us. If we are fighting we are rising by doing so. By just sitting at home, we cannot say we have won. The fact is that there is a competition, somewhere more somewhere less, but by and large we have overcome the opposition.

Sukhbir Badal is sounding confident. After a debacle in the 2017 assembly elections (due to the sacrilege incidents), is Sukhbir-led SAD heading for resurgence as they claim of easily winning Bathinda and Ferozepur seats?

The fact is that people are not allowing Harsimrat Kaur Badal enter villages in Bathinda; black flags are being shown to Sukhbir wherever he goes. So are people fed up with AAP. It is just that the things are being played up to show Sukhbir in high morale. He will come to know of the reality in few days.

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