Sukhbir Badal dismisses reports of SAD-BJP fighting 2022 Punjab polls separately

Chandigarh, January 27

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday indicated that the alliance with the BJP was in place in Punjab, days after its ally decided to contest the Delhi election alone.

Asked whether the SAD and BJP would fight the 2022 Assembly election separately, Badal told reporters in Amritsar, “These (such reports) are just in the media and I have been hearing such reports for the past 20 years.”

Hitting out at the Congress-led state government for not sticking to its election promise of giving free smartphones on January 26, he said, “I want to tell you that they (Congress-led government) will not give anything (to people). They are just giving dates. People of Punjab will send them packing after two years.”

Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla had said on Sunday in Patiala that he was expecting that the free smartphones would be given to the youth before March 31.

Badal alleged that drug and sand mining mafias were “proliferating” in Punjab under the alleged “patronage” of Congress ministers.

“The DGP has no control over Punjab Police while lower-rank officers -- DSPs and SHOs -- are working at the behest of Congress leaders. I can give you details of many cases in which Congress leaders got drug suppliers released,” alleged Badal.

Lashing out at the state government, the SAD chief said the Congress-led government was hiding its “failures” on the pretext of empty coffers.

“We ran government under the leadership of (Parkash Singh) Badal sahib and never gave a statement of empty coffers,” said Badal, adding that the state saw “unprecedented” development under their rule.

“But Captain sahib is not accessible,” he said slamming Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

On the issue of CAA, Badal said his party was in favour of the amended Citizenship Act which was why it voted in favour of it. But at the same time, his party wanted the Muslims to be included in the CAA.

“The SAD follows principles of Guru Sahib who always preached ‘Sarbat da bhala’ (welfare of all) and no discrimination. This nation is a united country and it belongs to people of all religions,” he said.

The SAD had earlier announced in Delhi that it would not contest the Delhi polls next month after it was asked by ally BJP to change its stand on the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

On the Punjab CM opposing the CAA, Badal asked Amarinder if he did not want thousands of persecuted Sikhs, Hindus, Jains and others in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to get relief under the amended Citizenship Act.

Badal accused Singh of following “orders” of the Gandhi family to “save his chair”.

Badal also slammed rebel Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and other splinter groups like the SAD (Taksali), accusing them of trying to weaken the SAD. PTI

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