The Tribune INTERVIEW

Navjot Sidhu and company will have to pay for false case against Bikram Majithia, says Sukhbir Badal

Sukhbir Singh Badal, Shiromani Akali Dal chief, in an interview with Sanjeev Singh Bariana and Jupinderjit Singh, said Punjab Congress chief Navjot Sidhu and police officers had conspired to falsely implicate Bikram Singh Majithia and thousands of Akali workers. They would be made to pay for it when the Akalis returned to power. Excerpts:

Will set up commission of inquiry

We will set up a commission of inquiry and the guilty police officers, be it 10 or 20 or 30 or 100 or even 200, will face dismissal from service. We have to set an example otherwise the system will continue to rot.

  • The SAD has raked up the issue of drug menace after the Bikram Majithia’s name cropped up. What’s your take?

The Congress has done nothing except highlighting drugs and sacrilege. They want to hide their failures. They don’t mention they had promised ‘ghar ghar naukri’, cellphones and a debt waiver to farmers but did nothing. They want to divert people’s attention. We have always had the welfare of people as our top priority. We need to talk about the Majithia case as it is totally false. We have to defend him as he is innocent.

  • Why has the SAD decided to field Majithia against Navjot Sidhu in Amritsar East?

Arrogant Sidhu has gone overboard. He has been accusing Majithia of wrongdoings without any basis. So we have decided to fight against him in his home constituency. Let the voters decide who is right.

  • You have fielded Majithia against Sidhu, not against Charanjit Channi and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa. Why?

Channi is just a small pawn. He makes noise only to make his presence felt when he sees someone else gaining more importance. Sidhu has been boasting that it was on his directions that the police registered a case against Majithia.

  • What is wrong in registering a case against Majithia in the wake of serious allegations?

Registering a false case is a crime. The government changed two DGPs and two chiefs of the Bureau of Investigation. They ignored written orders. In fact, I am not talking about Majithia’s case alone. There are a number of cases in which innocent persons have been framed.

  • So, Sidhu will have to pay if you return to power?

We will set up a commission of inquiry and the guilty police officers will face dismissal from service. We have to set an example. We will dismiss those found guilty, be it 10 or 20 or 30 or 100 or even 200. We will ensure nobody registers a false case in future.

  • What are your chances of winning the elections?

The Congress will not be able to cross 15 seats. In fact, there is a close fight between AAP and the Congress for the second position. Both will get between 10 and 15 seats. The AAP has no credibility. They have projected Bhagwant Mann as the CM face but actually it’s a mirage. Look at the posters. Kejriwal is omnipresent. Why so? I have never seen the Congress saying ‘Rahul Gandhi ko mauka do’. Bhagwant Mann is a dummy CM face, and I can give you in writing that if they get majority, Kejriwal will organise another bogus voting to capture the CM’s chair.

  • After the year-long farm protest, it seems a large number of farmers don’t trust you any longer. What do you have to say?

This category of protesters are Leftist labour unions, not kisans. Most of them are associated with the CPI and CPM. These parties were controlling the agitation. Our cadre consists of genuine farmers. They are with us.

  • Your reaction to poll surveys on the Punjab elections which don’t place the SAD in a very comfortable position?

These are paid surveys. Delhi Government’s funds are being used for the elections in Punjab by AAP to manage poll surveys. The party is giving advertisements asking them to do surveys in their favour. Last time, they did the same. One survey had given them 100 seats and they got only 20.

  • The public perception is that no party will get a majority. In that case, will you tie up with the BJP?

The BJP will get no seat, so where is the question of a tie-up. If at all, they may win a seat or two. Last time it was a triangular contest, so people thought there would be a hung Assembly. But the Congress won with a big majority. This time we are sure it will not be a hung Assembly. We will win because our workers are committed.

  • Are these polls different from the ones held earlier?

This time the elections are very frustrating. We are not meeting people. There seems no election mood. Neither the people, nor the politicians are enjoying.

  • What are your plans for students, including those moving abroad?

Punjabis always move to greener pastures. We will educate them before they go so that they are better placed. We have envisaged a student card scheme. Our kids will be able to study anywhere they want in the world. They will be given interest-free loans. Last time, we worked on improving roads and the power sector. The results on the ground showed that we were successful. This time, we will work on improving education and health sectors.

#BikramMajithia #SukhbirBadal

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