Will Resign if Congress is Wiped Out in Punjab, Says Amarinder Singh
File photo of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said he would take responsibility and quit if the Congress faced a drubbing in the ongoing Lok Sabha election in the state.
“If the Congress is wiped out in Punjab in this election, what do you think I will do? Obviously I will accept responsibility and resign,” he said.
Singh was answering to a query on whether he shared the same sense of responsibility like the one he expected from his colleagues in the ministry and party MLAs who were made accountable for the Congress’ performance in the state.
Speaking to News 18, the chief minister also denied any role in denying Navjot Kaur Sidhu a Congress ticket.
“I read her statement. She had claimed that I and Asha Kumari had denied her a ticket. She was seeking a ticket from Chandigarh. We are in Punjab and have no connection to Chandigarh. I have got nothing to do with it. I have no role in it,” he said.
“After she was denied the Chandigarh ticket by the party high command, we offered her Amritsar, the seat represented by her husband. She refused. Then we offered her the Bathinda seat as Navjot Singh Sidhu’s village falls in that constituency. She again refused. Then how did we deny her a ticket?”
However, the chief minister added that he would have pitched for party candidate Pawan Bansal instead of Navjot Kaur Sidhu from Chandigarh if asked for an opinion on the matter.
“If I would have been asked, I would have certainly batted for Bansal. He is an experienced fellow and I have known him since long,” Singh said.
The chief minister also responded to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s remark on incidents of sacrilege over the past few years.
The former deputy chief minister said, “The almighty may wipe out the entire khandan (clan) of those who are behind the incident of sacrilege in the state and also of those who indulged in cheap politics over the issue.”
“What does he mean to say? He himself was behind the sacrilege. Does he want his ‘tabbar’ (clan to be wiped out)?” the chief minister said.
Further hitting out at the Badals, Singh said, “Parkash Singh Badal was the chief minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal was the deputy chief minister, Sukhbir Badal was the home minister, then who else did it? How can you think that police firing takes place without the chief minister knowing? If someone does it in my regime — firing without my knowing — I have no business to stay in power.”
On Parkash Singh Badal’s statement that sacrilege was a bygone issue, Singh said, “Parkash Singh Badal used to say that people have forgotten ‘beadbi’ (sacrilege). People haven’t yet forgotten the Gallughara. Memories of Nankana sabih da morcha, Jatio da morcha, Guru ka bagh ka morhca are still fresh. You have desecrated holy books. Will the people forget that?”
“I don’t know in which fantasyland he is living. Parkash Singh Badal is trying to cover up because he knows that whatever has happened will wipe them out of Punjab. By doing ‘sewa’ at Darbar Sahib, you admitted of having made a mistake. And then you say that those responsible, would be wiped out. What does Sukbir want to say? He is confused,” said the CM.
On his party’s prospects in the ongoing general election, the CM said the opposition was a divided house and the Congress would win all the 13 seats comfortably.
“The Akali Dal has broken into three factions. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has vanished into thin air. It also broke into three factions. When two parties become six and we stay as a single unit, you can calculate who is winning,” he told News 18.
Predicting that the Badals would lose from Bathinda and Ferozepur seats, he said, “I don’t think that I see any challenge and we are going to beat Sukhbir badal. He is very nervous. I don’t think he is really bothered about Gurdaspur, but because his wife is contesting from Bathinda and he is himself a candidate from Ferozepur, that is going to keep him in a bind.”
Denying any anti-incumbency wave, Singh said it was a national election and hence, the main focus was on national issues, adding that it was time for the Prime Minister to show his report card.
“I don’t think so (incumbency wave). This is what Sukhbir Badal would want us to believe. As far as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is concerned, the world knows he has tried to polarise issues in his favour at the expense of India. He is trying to destroy the secular fabric of our country. Hindustan won’t allow it.”
The chief minister also came down heavily on Modi for his remark on late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
“That is an absolutely disgusting statement. He has no business to make a statement like this. I have known Rajiv Gandhi. He was a year junior to me in school. A thorough gentleman, a wonderful person. He is no longer with us. Does it behove a prime minister of a country to take on him like this? I think it is an absolutely shameless act.”
Later, taking a dig at Singh’s “wipe out” comment, Sukhbir Singh Badal said the writing on the wall was clear.
He wrote on Twitter, “@capt_amarinder now says that he will resign only if Cong is "wiped out" in the #LokSabhaElections2019 .What is a "wipe out"?13-0. He is clear that he won't resign even if Cong loses 12 seats becoz winning even one seat would prevent a wipe out. Writing on the wall is clear now.”