CHANDIGARH: The ruling SAD-BJP and AAP today criticised the appointment of Asha Kumari as the Congress in-charge of Punjab, saying the Congress has run short of leaders with clean image.
"It seems Congress has run out of leaders with clean image. Earlier, the party had appointed Kamal Nath as incharge of Punjab who quit for his role in role in 1984 anti-Sikh riots. And now the party has appointed another leader Asha Kumari who has been convicted in land grab case," Punjab BJP President Vijay Sampla said.
However, Congress leader Amarinder Singh hailed the appointment of Kumari as the AICC secretary in-charge for Punjab, saying he had agreed to her name "with full responsibility", and attacked opposition parties for criticising her appointment.
Kumari was appointed as Congress' in-charge of Punjab to succeed Kamal Nath, days after he quit in the wake of uproar by BJP, SAD and AAP over his alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is eyeing to win the upcoming assembly polls in the state, also took a dig at Congress over Kumari's appointment.
"It appears as if Congress has completely gone bankrupt of choices of finding one clean person with unblemished record to lead the party in Punjab," alleged Senior AAP leader and in-charge of party's affairs in Punjab, Sanjay Singh.
"The party seems to have no option but to bank upon tainted or corrupt leaders who are either involved in Sikh massacre or have been convicted by court for land grabbing," he added.
Tagging Congress as "the party of scams and scamsters", Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal asked senior Congress leader Amarinder Singh if he will "give the clean chit to Kumari too" as he did in Nath's case.
"Will he now step up and give a clean chit to Kumari as he had done in the case of Kamal Nath recently and other anti- Sikh genocide perpetrators earlier," she asked.
Amarinder Singh, however, lambasted the BJP, SAD and AAP for their "double standards" and said they should instead introspect and look within before pointing fingers at the Congress.
"You have no moral scruples in defending your legislator accused of molesting a woman and slapping an elderly man and here you have the guts to pontificate us on morality",said Amarinder.
Referring to the case pending against Kumari, the PCC president said, her conviction had been stayed by the High Court and the legal proceedings were going on, "like that of BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu."
"While the courts are yet to pronounce the final judgement in the matter, here are our opposition leaders who are ready to pronounce her guilty", he observed.
Amarinder also lashed out at the Akalis saying the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal "has no moral right to speak on the matter" since one of his own ministers, Tota Singh has been convicted in corruption and the president of the women's wing of his party Bibi Jagir Kaur stands convicted in a case related to the disappearance of her own daughter.
Kumari, who is an MLA from Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh, was given one-year imprisonment by a Chamba court in a land grab case in February this year but is currently on bail.