Modi aligning with ‘corrupt’ SAD, says Rahul; names Amarinder as CM face (Third Lead)

Majitha (Punjab), Jan 27 (IANS) Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for claiming to fight corruption but aligning with a “corrupt” Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab.

The Congress leader also set to rest the speculations on the party’s chief ministerial candidate ahead of the February 4 assembly elections by announcing that party state unit chief Captain Amarinder Singh will again head the government if the Congress is returned to power.

“Modi talks of corruption and religion at various places. But how can he stand with the corrupt Akali Dal leaders and talk of fighting corruption?” Gandhi said while addressing an election rally here in the Akali stronghold, which is represented in the assembly by Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia.

Gandhi made a strong attack on Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

“Dark clouds have encircled Punjab. Instead of giving water, these Badals have sapped the strength of Punjab,” the Congress Vice-President said.

“Modi will come here and say he fights corruption and that he has done demonetisation. Can you tell me how one who talks of fighting corruption can stand with the Akalis?”

“Can you tell me how Modi can stand on the same dais with (Deputy Chief Minister) Sukhbir Badal and still talk of fighting corruption?” Gandhi said.

“The whole of Punjab knows the state has been destroyed by the Akalis and brought to its knees,” he added.

“Your chief ministerial candidate is sitting here (on the dais). Amarinder Singh is our leader who will head the next government. He has worked hard for Punjab.”

Interestingly, Gandhi had announced Amarinder Singh as the party’s chief ministerial candidate days before the 2012 assembly polls too.

Gandhi accused the Badal family of monopolising most businesses in the state and destroying Punjab.

“Be it transport, cable TV, sand, hotels or other businesses, the Badal family has monopolised everything,” he alleged, adding that people were being “forced to pay a cut to the Badals”.

He accused the Badals of using the state’s assets to “benefit their own people”.

The Congress leader said that the first Sikh master, Guru Nanak, followed the concept of ‘tera’ (yours) and ‘sewa’ (service), but the Akali leadership only believed in the concept of ‘mera’ (mine) as they have looted Punjab.

He said if the Congress returns to power in Punjab, its government will ensure strictest possible action against drug mafia and fulfil its promises to the people.

“Those who hit Punjab’s interests and finished lives will be sent to jail,” he added.

The Congress Vice President, who later addressed a rally at Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda district, cautioned the people against the Aam Aadmi Party.

“The AAP government (in Delhi) made tall promises to the people of Delhi but failed to implement these. The AAP is trying to mislead people in Punjab too,” he said.

Targeting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, he said: “One man wants to the Chief Minister of both Delhi and Punjab.”

The Congress is locked in a bitter political fight with the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance and the AAP for the 117-member assembly ahed of the February 4 elections.

–IANS

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