Patiala, February 8
Punjab Lok Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh today said the Congress had made a mistake by announcing its chief ministerial face on the basis of caste. “A CM should be decided on the grounds of capability, not on the metric of caste, be it Scheduled Caste, Jat Sikh or Hindu, which they have done,” he said, while interacting with mediapersons after a public meeting in the Patiala Rural segment.
CM fooling people
Channi claims he has done everything in 111 days. He’s fooling people. Every project has a gestation period and takes months to start. Capt Amarinder Singh, PLC Chief
Pointing out that Punjab had never before been divided on the caste or religious lines, Capt Amarinder said: “CM Charanjit Channi does not have a CM’s calibre,” adding his tall claims could not fool people of the state. The former CM warned of an “explosion” soon from PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had been discarded by his own party in favour of Channi, saying he was “too ambitious to stay quiet for very long”.
Claiming that leaders like Channi and Deputy CM Sukhjinder Randhawa had backstabbed him and misled the high command after he had supported them in their political careers, the PLC chief said such leaders could not be trusted. “They will compromise the interests of Punjab to further their agenda,” he warned. He recalled how he had inducted Channi into the Congress and helped him become an MLA and ensured Randhawa a seat in the last elections.
To a query, the former CM said there was no comparison between PM Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in terms of their political experience. “I have known Modi for long and used to meet him frequently in Delhi when we were both CMs,” he said, adding the Modi government had helped him whenever Punjab was in dire straits.
“We have to work with them to ensure a safe future for Punjab,” he stressed. “The future of Punjab depends on these polls,” he said, underlining the need for close Centre-state coordination to secure the state’s interests. To a question on whether his wife, MP Preneet Kaur, would campaign for him, Capt Amarinder said it was for her to decide. “Politics is different. My mother was in the BJP and I was in the Congress. We sat on opposite benches in Parliament,” he remarked.
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