Chandigarh, Jan 16: Enthused by cricketer-turned-politician vjot Singh Sidhu joining the party, a fired up Congress on Monday announced that its state president Amarinder Singh would take on Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in the latter’s traditiol assembly seat of Lambi.
The Congress also announced that its Lok Sabha MP from Ludhia, Ravneet Singh Bittu, who is a grandson of former Chief Minister Beant Singh, will contest against Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal from the latter’s Jalalabad seat. Sidhu, a four-time former BJP MP, would contest from the Amritsar-East assembly seat. Sidhu told the media in New Delhi on Monday that “joining the Congress was a home-coming” for him and that he was a “born Congressman”. With the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is challenging the Akali Dal-BJP alliance and Congress in Punjab, already having announced its Sangrur Lok Sabha MP Bhagwant Mann and Delhi lawmaker Jaril Singh to take on Badal junior and Badal senior from the Jalalabad and Lambi seats, the contest for these seats is poised to be a high stakes affair. Describing Lambi as his “karam bhoomi” (place of action) from where he would “teach the Badals a lesson for the savagery and atrocities they had unleashed on the people of Punjab over the past 10 years”, Amarinder Singh on Monday said he would get all cases of religious sacrilege thoroughly investigated and punish the Badals if found guilty. “The Badals have spent the past 10 years bolstering their family interests, with all the key businesses in the state owned by them and the Akali-patronized mafia ruling Punjab,” Amarinder said, questioning Chief Minister Badal where he would take all the wealth he had accumulated.
Taking a snipe at Kejriwal’s attempts to project himself as a Sikh Punjabi by trying to wear a turban during his public meetings and rallies, Amarinder warned the people against being taken in by his “frivolous gimmicks”. “He’s a liar out to stch power in Punjab and become the Chief Minister of the state,” Amarinder said. Elections to 117 assembly seats in Punjab will be held on February 4. The main contest is between the ruling Akali Dal-BJP alliance, which has been in power in Punjab since 2007, the Congress and the AAP. (IANS)