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Amarinder Singh Dares Arun Jaitley to Contest LS Bypoll from Amritsar

Press Trust Of India

First published: December 1, 2016, 11:46 PM IST | Updated: 6 days ago
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Amarinder Singh Dares Arun Jaitley to Contest LS Bypoll from Amritsar
File photo of Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh.

New Delhi: Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Thursday challenged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to contest the Lok Sabha by-election from Amritsar, saying let this bypoll be a referendum on the Narendra Modi governments demonetisation move.

Jaitley had in 2014 lost by a huge margin to Singh from the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency.

He also said the allocation of Congress ticket for all seats for upcoming Punjab Assembly elections would be finalised on December 3, when the Congress Electoral Committee meets here under AICC president Sonia Gandhi.

Asked about Navjot Singh Sidhu, Singh said he was hopeful of meeting him soon and expressed hope that the cricketer-turned-politician would play an important role in the party's poll campaigns.

Reacting strongly to the gold restrictions imposed by the Centre on Thursday, Singh said these things happened in the "Nazi Germany of Adolf Hitler. So, is the Modi government trying to replicate the Nazi ideology in India?"

Questioning the intentions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jaitley, Singh said gold is symbol of marital happiness and had a lot of significance for Indian women.

Expressing serious concerns over the spate of hacking incidents, he warned Modi against exposing the common people to fraudsters through his ill-conceived demonetisation scheme, saying it would backfire on the government, beginning with the forthcoming Assembly elections.

"There is a lot of resentment among the common people over the unplanned execution of the demonetisation move. The hacking episodes relating to Congress websites had exposed the vulnerability of the digital system which Modi was asking them to adopt," he said, adding the resentment of the people will manifest itself in the Assembly polls in Punjab and some other states a couple of months from now.

"Before deciding to shift the whole country from cash to digital transactions, Modi should have taken into consideration the ground realities and made cyber transactions foolproof," Singh told reporters.

The PCC chief said the ease with which cyber accounts were being breached by hackers showed how fragile the cyber network in India is and how unprepared the country is for moving to digitisation at the scale envisaged by the prime minister.

Accusing Modi of being blind to the risks involved in online banking, he said "Do you have such a myopic vision that you can't see how just one senseless move from you has thrown the entire country into a state of financial anarchy and how unprepared your government was to cope with the ramificatons?"

Despite several hacking and banking fraud incidents coming to the fore, the Modi government has failed to secure the system, which it should have done before even contemplating the drastic demonetisation move, said Singh.

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