Ruchika M Khanna
Chandigarh, September 26
Amid the growing rift between the Punjab unit of Aam Aadmi Party and the state Congress, even as their parent parties are part of the INDIA alliance, the comment by Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa on Monday regarding ruling AAP MLAs being in touch with him drew the ire of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
Reacting sharply to the comment made by the senior Congress leader, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, CM Mann warned him on Tuesday, “Pratap Bajwa (BJP), you are talking about breaking the elected government of the people of Punjab. I know Congress killed your desire to become Chief Minister..I am a representative of three crore people of Punjab and not a trident of a chair..If you dare talk to the high command.”
Responding to Mann, Partap Bajwa said, “Even the kings could not retain their kingdom forever. You are the acting Chief Minister of Punjab. Though I don't think it is necessary to answer you, but since you are tweeting while eating and drinking, then listen to the answer.
“When your master Arvind Kejriwal loses control of Punjab, then you should talk to your high command. You are killing the development of Punjab with your jokes, neither you have taken care of the law and order, nor the economy, nor have you taken care of the youth of Punjab from drugs, nor have you cared for the migrant Punjabis sitting in Canada. How long will you continue to kill the dreams of the people of Punjab?
"ਭਗਵੰਤ ਸ਼ਾਹ" ਰਾਜ ਤਾਂ ਰਾਜਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਰਹੇ ਫਿਰ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਕਿਹੜੇ ਬਾਗ ਦੀ ਮੂਲੀ 🍾 ਹੋ!— Partap Singh Bajwa (@Partap_Sbajwa) September 26, 2023
ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੇ ਕਾਰਜਕਾਰੀ ਮੁੱਖ ਮੰਤਰੀ @BhagwantMann ਵੈਸੇ ਤਾਂ ਮੈਂ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਜਵਾਬ ਦੇਣਾ ਵਾਜ਼ਿਬ ਨਹੀਂ ਸਮਝਦਾ ਪਰ ਚੱਲੋ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਖਾਧੀ ਪੀਤੀ 'ਚ ਟਵੀਟ ਕਰ ਬੈਠੇ ਓ ਤਾਂ ਜਵਾਬ ਵੀ ਸੁਣ ਲਓ।
ਜਦੋਂ ਤੁਹਾਡੇ ਆਕਾ ਅਰਵਿੰਦ ਕੇਜਰੀਵਾਲ ਦੇ ਹੱਥੋਂ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੀ… https://t.co/OJvNw5g5KA
Bajwa had reportedly said on Monday that 32 AAP MLAs were in touch with him. He was quoted as saying, "We also have 18 Congress MLAs. We need to push things a little and we are in the position to form the government. Within two months of the general election, AAP government would fall."
The statements by both leaders come at a time when the INDIA alliance is trying to unite to form a formidable force against the ruling NDA at the national level.
In Punjab, Congress leaders are vehemently opposed to the alliance with AAP.
The AAP leaders, though initially claiming that the alliance would work out in Punjab, are now opposing the move.
This is because the party top brass in the state feels that since they came to power last year, they have all along created "corrupt Congress government" rhetoric against their predecessors and it would now be difficult to approach voters in alliance with the Congress.
Also, while AAP had initially said that they would contest on nine Lok Sabha seats, including Chandigarh, they were willing to offer just five seats to the Congress. The latter has been demanding that the two contest on seven seats each.
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