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I do it my way: CM
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
A sample of how bitter, nasty — and perhaps frightening — the poll campaign may be in Punjab was seen here today.
Hitting back at Shiromani Akali Dal leaders, who have been needling and provoking him for the past several days by issuing offensive statements against him, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said he had “come here today to deal with them.”

“I have my own way of living. Who are they to raise questions?” he asked. “I am not supposed to live the way Badal (Parkash Singh) lives. Am I not entitled to take off for some days to relax?” he said at a crowded press conference.

A fuming Capt Amarinder Singh used strong language against Mr Badal and Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu and said “it is a matter of shame that one thief and the other a murderer will be leading the SAD-BJP campaign”.

“I will go for their jugular. An attack on us will be replied to with two attacks from our side. We are fighting the elections to win and challenge them on every platform - in the media, at rallies, in our publicity campaign”, he asserted. Asked about the possibility of violence in the elections, he said: “I guarantee that there will be no violence. The Punjab poll will be a totally managed one. If the Akalis play any mischief, they will be dealt with strongly. No one will be allowed to disrupt law and order.”

He defended the use of an official helicopter to visit various places, including Ajmer Sharief in Rajasthan, along with some guests from Pakistan. “As a Chief Minister, I am entitled to use the helicopter. I went to Ajmer for the peace and prosperity of Punjab and the country", he added.

“I will soon visit Jwalji and other holy places in Himachal Pradesh for a similar purpose", he said." My family has believed in all this for the past 175 years."

Talking about the guests from Pakistan, he said they were all respected persons and sent by the Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Pervaiz Elahi. They had come on valid visas, he added.

"The Badals have become desperate.They are using all foul means in desperation",he added. Hitting out at Mr Sidhu, he said Mohali would be developed by private builders. Only social sector houses meant for the poor would be built by PUDA. Mr Sidhu was resorting to absurd talk about Mohali's development. “We have hired a Singapore-based company to develop Mohali on that pattern”, he added. Asked about certain leaders,who were close to him, joining the SAD, Capt Amarinder Singh said Mr Sukhdarshan Singh Mrar’s son was dismissed from the police. “We reinstated him. But I fail to understand what kind of person Mr Mrar is. He had spoken against Mr Badal at a Congress rally in Badal village”, he said.

Asked about the preparations for the elections, he said:” I along with Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, will attend a meeting of the AICC to discuss issues related to the elections in Delhi this evening.” Mr Dullo, who was present, said only those who had applied for the party ticket on the prescribed form would be considered. “The party ticket will be given purely on merit and there will be no nepotism”, he added.” Winnability will be the only criterion for giving the party ticket. Those who joined the party quitting other parties can be considered for the allotment of the ticket in case their chances of winning are found to be better”, he added.

Earlier, Mr Dullo had stated that outsiders, who joined the party recently, would not be considered for the party ticket. When told that a brother of the Prime Minister and a daughter of the late Giani Zail Singh were also seeking the party ticket, Mr Dullo said he was not aware of it, but while allocating the ticket no weightage would be given to the factor of who was related to whom.

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