Chandigarh, November 3

Ridiculing Sukhbir Singh Badal’s threat of putting Cabinet Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot behind bars if SAD forms the government, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday asked the Akali leader to stop day-dreaming as his party was not coming to power in the state any time soon.

“Your pipe-dream of forming the next government in Punjab will never materialize. The people of the state have not forgotten or forgiven you for the acts of omission and commission committed by you during the 10-year misrule of SAD-BJP,” the Chief Minister said in response to Sukhbir’s threat against Dharamsot.

Rejecting as atrocious the SAD president’s allegation that he (Captain Amarinder) was shielding the Minister, the Chief Minister asked Sukhbir to stop misleading the people with such shamelessly false and baseless claims. The people of Punjab will not be taken in by your unfounded allegations, he told Sukhbir, terming the Akali chief’s threat as a manifestation of his vindictive mindset. It was the same mindset that was behind thousands of innocent Punjabis being thrown into jail on false cases under the SAD-BJP regime, he pointed out, adding that his government was still trying to provide justice to the victims of the Badal vendetta.

As far as Dharamsot was concerned, the fact of the matter was that there was not an iota of evidence of embezzlement in the case, the Chief Minister said. He pointed out that a thorough inquiry was conducted into allegations of scholarship scam by a committee of three additional chief secretaries, followed by a probe by the Chief Secretary. Eventually, he said he himself had checked out the entire case and found absolutely no misappropriation having been done, said Captain Amarinder, adding that Sukhbir could not transform a lie into a truth by crying himself hoarse on the issue.

Castigating Sukhbir for spreading blatant falsehoods, the Chief Minister said it was sheer hypocrisy for an SAD leader to be talking about injustice to Dalit students when it was the central government, of which the Akalis were then a part, that had inflicted gross injustice on these students by abruptly withdrawing the post-matric SC scholarship scheme. “If you were really concerned about the Dalit students, why did you allow the NDA government to indulge in such an act?” he asked Sukhbir, adding that these double standards of the SAD had become such an inalienable part of their culture that the Akalis were no longer bothered about their duplicity being exposed.

Rejecting Sukhbir’s charges of Congress MLAs running mafias in the state, the Chief Minister asked the SAD president to stop confusing the ruling party legislators with members and leaders of his own party. Unlike the Akali MLAs, those of the Congress do not run mafias but wipe them out, he said, adding that these baseless allegations reflect Sukhbir’s desperation to grab power in the state, by hook or by crook, especially since his party had been completely cornered on the issue of the central agricultural legislations.

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