Tribune News Service
Faridkot, April 17
In the Faridkot constituency, that saw a series of sacrilege incidents, SAD candidate Gulzar Singh Ranike accuses CM Capt Amarinder Singh of going back on his oath “on the Gutka” at Takht Damdama Sahib to wipe out the drug menace. He does so repeatedly during campaigning as part of a strategy to blunt the Congress attack on the Akalis on the desecration issue.
Ranike accuses the CM of “failing to honour” the promises made to traders, farmers and Dalits during the Assembly elections while also referring to his pledge to provide laptop and mobiles to students.
Hoping to win over the Dalits in this reserved parliamentary constituency, he says the Congress has deprived them of several welfare schemes initiated by the SAD-BJP government, such as atta-dal, shagun and free electricity to Dalit households.
“On the pretext of pending inquiries and fiscal crunch, the Congress government has stopped several welfare schemes,” he tells villagers. Accompanied by former Kotkapura MLA Mantar Singh Brar, he is careful not to mention sacrilege incidents. Nevertheless, while campaigning in Kotsukhia and Dhoorkot villages on Tuesday, Ranike was shown black flags, with angry youths asking him why he was being accompanied by Mantar Singh Brar. The latter has been named by the Special Investigating Team (SIT) as an accused in the 2015 Kotkapura police firing.
Kot Sukhia and Dhoorkot villages are located 12-18 km from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala, Bargari and Behbal Kalan villages that were rocked by sacrilege incidents during the SAD-BJP tenure. In Lambi, former CM Parkash Singh Badal told mediapersons: “There is no point in showing black flags. If you don’t want to vote for the Akalis, don’t,” while alluded to Congress’ role in such incidents.
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