Amit Shah Assures CM Channi of Probe Into AAP's 'SFJ Links', Kejriwal Calls Self 'World's Sweetest Terrorist'

Assembly elections in the state are due on February 20. The Congress is fighting to retain power in the state with CM Charanjit Channi, while BJP and AAP make for a three-way fight.

By: News Desk

Last Updated: February 18, 2022, 23:20 IST

New Delhi

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal
AAP was planning to contest the civic polls for the second time.(Image: NARINDER NANU/AFP)

In a major setback to Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party days ahead of the Punjab assembly elections, Union home minister Amit Shah has acceded the request of chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi to probe the alleged connection between proscribed terror outfit ‘Sikhs For Justice’ with the AAP. In a letter on Friday, Shah said “any political party seeking help from a terrorist outfit in polls is against the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.”

Kejriwal, ,meanwhile, termed as “laughable” allegations by former AAP leader Kumar Vishwas that he has made separatist comments, saying he must be the “world’s Read More

Feb 18, 2022 21:12 IST

READ | Amit Shah Assures Punjab CM Channi of Probe Into AAP's 'Links With SFJ', Says 'Myself Looking Into It'

In a major setback to Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party days ahead of Punjab assembly polls, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has acceded the request of Charanjit Singh Channi government to probe the alleged connection between proscribed terror outfit Sikhs For Justice with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). In a letter on Friday, Shah said “any political party seeking help from a terrorist outfit in polls is against the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.” READ MORE

Feb 18, 2022 21:11 IST

READ | Cong Manifesto Released on Last Day of Campaigning in Punjab. Internal Pangs or Taking Stock of All Voices?

With just a few hours left before the curtains came down on campaigning for the Punjab assembly elections on Friday, the ruling Congress released its 13-point manifesto. The state will vote on February 20. More than the agenda, however, the delay in releasing the manifesto by the Congress has become the talking point in political circles. The manifesto has promised to end the “mafia raj” in sand, liquor and cable businesses, financial aid of Rs 1,100 to women, eight free cooking gas cylinders a year to homemakers, and one lakh government jobs. READ MORE

Feb 18, 2022 19:34 IST

Rajnath Singh Says Only BJP-led NDA Can Bring Change in Punjab

People want to create a ‘Nava Punjab’ and only the BJP-led alliance can bring all-round progress in the state, defence minister Rajnath Singh said today after taking part in a road show taken out by Punjab Lok Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh in Patiala. Rajnath Singh was canvassing for Amarinder Singh on the last day of campaigning for the February 20 polls to the 117-member state assembly. The BJP is fighting the elections along with the Punjab Lok Congress and the Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa-led Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt). PTI

Feb 18, 2022 19:29 IST

READ | Punjab Elections 2022: Kejriwal And Mann — How It Works on The Ground

On Guru Ravidass Jayanti this Wednesday, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal and its two-time MP and chief ministerial face in Punjab Bhagwant Mann prayed together at the famous Guru Ravidass temple before setting out to campaign together in Jalandhar. The duo not only sent a message to the politically significant 32% Scheduled Caste population in Punjab but also one of unity in AAP in the face of serious infighting within the state’s ruling Congress. Kejriwal also promised to build a temple in Delhi in honour of the 15th-century saint. While speaking with the media, he allowed Mann to speak first, giving the latter the space to grow as a mass leader. In fact, in this Punjab 2.0 campaign, the party is witnessing the emergence of another leader, Mann, who has mass appeal and enjoys the trust of the people of the state, aiding him in every way and propelling his rise. READ MORE

Feb 18, 2022 18:22 IST

Campaigning Ends for Punjab Polls, Over to Voters Now

Campaigning for the 117 assembly seats of Punjab came to an end today even as political parties made last-minute efforts to mobilise support for their candidates ahead of the February 20 elections. The Congress released its manifesto earlier in the day, promising financial assistance for women, one lakh government jobs and creation of corporations for the sale of liquor and sand mining if it returns to power in the state. Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, AAP leaders Arvind Kejriwal, Bhagwant Mann and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia took out road shows in Bhadaur, Jalalabad, Raikot and Amritsar. Former CM Captain Amarinder Singh and defence minister Rajnath Singh took out a road show in Patiala. Amarinder Singh’s wife and Congress MP Preneet Kaur also took part in the road show. Former CM Parkash Singh Badal and Akali president Sukhbir Badal also campaigned on the last day.

A total of 1,304 candidates, including 93 women, are in the fray in the state. The voting will take place from 8 am till 6 pm, said Punjab chief electoral officer S Karuna Raju. The Election Commission had earlier postponed the date of voting for the assembly polls from February 14 to February 20 in the wake of Guru Ravidas Jayanti. PTI

Feb 18, 2022 18:06 IST

BJP Urges Punjab Voters to Bring Its Alliance to Power

The BJP on Friday urged Punjab to vote its alliance to power for a “double engine” government to remove the problems of drugs, corruption and unemployment. Its leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the Sikh face of the party, cited works done by the Narendra Modi-led government for the community, and made reference to Operation Blue Star and anti-Sikh riots, both of which happened in 1984 when the Congress was in power, to ask the people to defeat the state’s incumbent party and choose the BJP. Sirsa said every other party like Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and Akali Dal have joined hands against the BJP as they don’t want it to come to power. Assembly polls will be held on February 20 in Punjab, which is witnessing a four-cornered contest involving Congress, AAP, BJP-led alliance and the Akali Dal-BSP alliance. PTI

Feb 18, 2022 18:03 IST

Cong Promises Financial Aid to Homemakers, Eight Free LPG Cylinders

The Congress released its manifesto today for the February 20 Punjab assembly elections, promising Rs 1,100 per month for homemakers and eight free cooking gas cylinders per year and one lakh government jobs. The party also promised to end mafia raj by creating corporations for sale of liquor and sand mining. Addressing the media in Chandigarh, state party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu said the party’s government will procure oilseed, pulses and corn from farmers. The Congress manifesto has come on the last day of the campaigning for the assembly polls. The manifesto has a 13-point agenda, reflecting vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s vision. PTI

Feb 18, 2022 17:37 IST

Free Education, Health Facilities if Voted to Power: Punjab CM Channi

Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi said if the Congress is voted to power, then it will provide free education and health facilities in the state. Channi was campaigning for the assembly elections, to be held on February 20, at Rupnagar today. ANI

Feb 18, 2022 17:35 IST

Will Ensure Water Supply in Every Village: Kejriwal in Jalalabad

On the last day of his election campaign for the Punjab assembly elections on February 20, AAP convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal promised water supply in every village if their government was voted to power. He was in Jalalabad for campaigning. “There’s no water supply in 150 villages, don’t know what they’ve (Congress) done in the last five years, they couldn’t even supply water in the last 70 yrs but we’ll ensure water supply to every village once our government is formed,” he said. ANI

Feb 18, 2022 17:30 IST

Kejriwal Holds Roadshow in Abohar, His Last Stop for Poll Campaign

Delhi chief minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal is holding a roadshow in Punjab’s Abohar today. This is the last stage of his campaign for the assembly elections, which will be held on February 20. ANI

Feb 18, 2022 15:18 IST

PM Hosts Prominent Sikh Personalities at His Residence | IN PHOTOS

The Sikh personalities who attended the meeting with Modi included Delhi Gurudwara Committee president Harmeet Singh Kalka, Padma Sri-awardee Baba Balbir Singh ji Sichewal, Mahant Karamjit Singh of Sewapanthi, Yamuna Nagar, Baba Joga Singh of Dera Baba Jang Singh in Karnal and Sant Baba Mejor Singh Waa of Mukhi Dera Baba Tara Singh Waa in Amritsar. IN PICS

Feb 18, 2022 15:04 IST

Why Was Capt Amarinder Singh Removed as Punjab CM? Rahul Gandhi Answers

Amid the high-octane campaign for Punjab assembly elections, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said Captain Amarinder Singh was removed from the post of Chief Minister because he denied providing free electricity to the poor people of the state, citing his contract with the power supply companies. READ MORE

Feb 18, 2022 14:26 IST

Punjab Polls: Channi Poorer by Rs 5 Cr since 2017; SAD’s Sukhbir Richer by Rs 100 Cr, Captain by Rs 20 Cr

Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s wealth has decreased by over Rs 5 crore while that of his predecessor Amarinder Singh has gone up by Rs 20 crore since 2017, a new report from Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) says. Further, Sukhbir Singh Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal has declared an increase of Rs 100 crore in his wealth between 2017 and 2022. READ MORE

Feb 18, 2022 14:01 IST

Rajnath Singh, Capt Amarinder Hold Road Show in Patiala

Feb 18, 2022 13:58 IST

In Multi-cornered Contest, Cong Best Suited to Govern Punjab; Oppn 'fragmented': Pilot

Senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Friday exuded confidence that the Congress will again form the government in Punjab, saying the Opposition is “fragmented” with none of the other parties or alliances in a position to get a majority and that the people will not “waste their vote” despite all the “hype” surrounding the challengers. He also said the Congress is the best bet to govern a sensitive border state like Punjab while the AAP lacks the depth to do so.

Feb 18, 2022 13:48 IST

I'm the Sweetest Terrorist, Heard NIA Will Book Me, Says Kejriwal

All these corrupt people are calling me terrorist. I am the first terrorist in the world who builds schools for people, builds hospitals, fix electricity problem. I am the world’s first “sweet terrorist”. The British used to fear Bhagat Singh. That is why he was called a terrorist. I am disciple of Bhagat Singh: Arvind Kejriwal.

Feb 18, 2022 13:37 IST

Capt Amarinder, Sukhbir Badal Two Sides of Same Coin: Sidhu

Captain Amarinder Singh and Sukhbir Singh Badal are two sides of the same coin. Choosing Captain or the Badals would be a retrograde step. If change has to be brought, this man (referring to himself) is in front of you with a plan: Punjab Congress chief Navjot S Sidhu in Amritsar

Feb 18, 2022 13:32 IST

Nasty, Shameful: Smriti Irani Slams Punjab CM Channi for 'UP De Bhaiye' Remark

Calling Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s UP, Bihar, Delhi de bhaiye remark, nasty and shameful, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday said while the BJP united people, the Congress divided them. Addressing an election meeting in support of party candidate Vijay Sampla at Hadiabad sub-town in the evening, the Women and Child Development minister said Channi’s statement was against the spirit of Bhartiyata and was aimed at disintegrating the society.

Feb 18, 2022 12:46 IST

'Eh Bhaiya Kithon Agha?' Manish Tewari Admits Facing Social Bias in Punjab Amid Channi's 'UP Bhaiye' Row

In a series of tweets, Congress MP Manish Tewari came down heavily on Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s recent “UP, Bihar ke bhaiyya” jibe and said that “such thinking has no place in the secular ethos of the northern Indian state”. READ MORE

Feb 18, 2022 12:25 IST

PM Modi Meets Prominent Sikhs From Across India

sweetest terrorist” who builds schools and hospitals. Kejriwal has been under attack from both the Congress and the BJP who have questioned him over accusations by Vishwas of supporting separatists in Punjab.

The AAP has emerged as a key challenger to the ruling Congress in the state. The AAP convener said even Britishers had called Bhagat Singh a terrorist, but the country knows there was no bigger patriot than him. “A hundred years ago, Britishers had called Bhagat Singh a terrorist and 100 years later, history is repeating when all these parties want to prove Bhagat Singh’s follower (Kejriwal) as a terrorist, but people know the reality,” he said.

Congress MP from Anandpur Sahib Manish Tewari on Friday called out CM Charanjit Singh Channi over his ‘UP Bhaiye’ remark, saying that despite his roots, he had faced social bias in the state due to his surname. “The Bhaiya controversy is like the Black issue in the US . It is reflective of an unfortunate systemic & institutionalised social bias against migrants stretching back to the inception of the Green Revolution . At a personal level Despite my mother being a Jat Sikh & my father being the foremost exponent of Punjab – Punjabi- Punjabiyat who laid down his life for Hindu- Sikh amity because of my Sir name it is said behind my back ‘ Eh Bhaiya Kithon Agha’ peppered with the choicest expletives in Punjabi – We have to root it out,” he said on Twitter.

Daughter of AAP chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, 26-year-old Harshita is campaigning for the Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab. Calling Bhagwant Mann, AAP’s chief ministerial candidate for the state, her ‘uncle’, Harshita is seen asking for votes for him, according to reports. “I do not know how to give speeches, but your enthusiasm has made me feel alive too. I have come here to seek votes for my uncle Bhagwant Mann,” she said. Harshita said in her speech that if anyone had given thought towards progress for the sake of children, then it was only AAP.

The people of Punjab want to know what happened to the promises made by Congress five years ago, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said on Friday in Jalandhar. “People of Punjab are asking questions to Congress that what happened to those promises which you made five years back? They promised to waive off farm loans, provide employment and make Punjab drug-free, but nothing has happened,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.

Union Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said “winds of change are sweeping” Punjab with the people yearning to bring the BJP-led alliance to power and put an end to the “loot tantra” in the state. He also slammed Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi for his ‘UP, Bihar de bhaiya’ remark, alleging that the Congress wants to “disintegrate the country”.

Targeting the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, Singh said, “You know one has looted Punjab. The other which claims that it would form a government here, ask what have they done in Delhi.” “The AAP says they will wipe out drug menace from Punjab. Those who opened liquor vends in every street of Delhi, they are talking of wiping out drugs here.” “If any party can do that (wipe out drug menace), it is only the Bharatiya Janata Party. We will see to it who has the guts to indulge in drug trade when the BJP comes to power in the state,” he said. Holding poll meetings in Amritsar, Nangal in Anandpur Sahib, and Moga Singh said, “Winds of change are sweeping Punjab. People will not allow loot tantra to continue.” He claimed that people are yearning to bring the BJP-led alliance to power in Punjab.

Using cricket analogy, he hit at the Congress saying, “As far as the Congress is concerned, you know that two people want to bat together and none of them wants to be on the non-striker’s end. “When two batsmen bat on one crease, it is certain they will be out and no one can stop that.” His jibe was apparently aimed at Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Punjab Congress chief and former India cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu. Both Sidhu and Chani were in contention for being the Congress’s chief ministerial candidate in the Assembly polls. The party has announced Channi as the chief ministerial candidate.

Over Channi’s ‘UP, Bihar de bhaiya’ remark, Rajanth Singh invoked Guru Nanak Dev, saying the founder of Sikhism gave the message of tolerance, love and universal brotherhood and yearned to see a casteless society. On the other hand, Chief Minister Channi says he won’t let the people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar enter Punjab, Singh alleged. “We shall see who dares to stop people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar from coming to Punjab.” Channi had courted controversy by asking people during a roadshow not to let “Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi de bhaiya” enter the state. He, however, on Thursday said his comment had been “twisted” and lauded the migrants for their contribution to the state’s development.

The word “bhaiya” is generally considered offensive in reference to migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar who work in Punjab. Rajnath Singh appealed to voters to bring the BJP-led alliance to power in Punjab, saying it was a border state and needs a strong government that can counter security threats from across the border. At Amritsar, he also paid obeisance at the Golden Temple and the Durgiana temple.

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