Punjab Polls 2022: Former CM Amarinder claims Pakistan PM had requested him to re-induct Sidhu in his cabinet
Amarinder Singh said that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be coming to Punjab soon to campaign for the PLC-BJP-SAD Sanyukt coalition.
CHANDIGARH: Former Chief Minister and Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) chief Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday claimed that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had requested him to re-induct Navjot Singh Sidhu into the state cabinet which clearly showed he could not be relied upon to keep Punjab and India safe from the enemy across the border.
Addressing a public meeting at Ramalila Maidan in Patiala, Amarinder expressed strong anger over Navjot Singh Sidhu hugging the Pakistan army chief who was ordering his soldiers every day to kill Indians, and said the state’s governance could not be handed over to people who were willing to compromise national security to further their personal and political ambitions.
"Who do you hate more? The soldiers who fire or the one who gives the order?” Amarinder asked the people of Patiala at a public meeting, adding that Sidhu hugging General Bajwa and then his re-induction into the state cabinet being recommended by the Prime Minister of Pakistan clearly showed he could not be relied upon to keep Punjab and India safe from the enemy across the border. He said that he had told about this recommendation for Sidhu from across the border to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
"We want peace with Pakistan but will not bow to them. We are prepared to fight, our army is ready to take them head-on,” Amarinder asserted.
Citing the need for the highest levels of security in the border state of Punjab, the former chief minister said the state’s and country’s safety was of paramount importance, which only the PLC alliance, with the support of the BJP-led government at the Centre, could ensure. While there was no conflict between the people of the two countries, the hostile regime in Pakistan posed a serious danger, he claimed.
Amarinder pointed out that since March 2017, as many as 83 Punjabi soldiers had been killed by Pakistan on the border, and his government had given compensation of Rs 50 lakh and a job to the kin of the deceased soldiers.
Announcing that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be coming to Punjab soon to campaign for the PLC-BJP-SAD Sanyukt coalition, Amarinder said the alliance had been crafted in the interest of Punjab and the country. The state, with its economy in total shambles, was at a crossroads and needed the Centre’s support to go ahead, he stressed, adding that Punjab was reeling under a debt of Rs 70,000 crores, with Charanjit Singh Channi adding Rs 33,000 crore in just 111 days.
For Punjab’s survival, it is necessary that the state and the Centre work together, said Amarinder, adding that he personally has had cordial relations with Modi since the latter was the chief minister of Gujarat and the RSS prabhari for Punjab.
He unveiled his ambitious plans for the development and security of the state, which the Congress had scuttled by the sudden and uncalled for change at the helm of the government less than six months before the assembly polls. He pointed out that even the various development projects he had launched in the Patiala region had been stalled by the Channi government.
Listing his priorities for the state, the PLC leader said while he had ensured 22 lakh new jobs and investment worth Rs 1 lakh crore on the ground during his tenure, much more was needed to be done to ensure the state’s progress. “I want to ensure that children from Punjab do not go abroad for higher education and jobs,” he added.
He further identified improving the state’s water situation and agriculture as key priorities for his party. He pointed out that he had conceived surface river water supply for five major cities, including Patiala, and had given jobs and Rs 5 lakh compensation to the families of each of the 460 farmers who died in the recent agitation.