CHANDIGARH: Barely hours after late evening announcement by ex-Punjab CM Capt Amarinder to float a new political party ahead of 2022 Punjab elections, knives were out against him in Chandigarh on Wednesday as his aide joined new deputy CM Sukhjinder Randhawa, asking Patiala royal to declare his live-in relationship with a Pakistan lady Aroosa Alam.
Randhawa held a press conference at his sector 2 home with Sandeep Sandhu, who served as Amarinder’s political advisor after 2017 when Congress came to power till just last month. Its a different matter that Sandhu’s own career is caught in multiple rows over his electoral losses to once working in a dubious firm.
Randhawa made direct attacks on Amarinder, accusing him of raising a false bogey of security threat in Punjab to support BSF’s new policy to expand their territory from 15 km to 50 km.
“I want to ask Amarinder, how many times did he ever declare that he was staying with Aroosa Alam, a lady from Pakistan. If the threat from Pakistan was obvious that he had to rush to Centre, he should have done during last four years. Now he’s gone to Centre and supporting BSF. Let then DGP Suresh Arora and ousted DGP Dinkar Gupta explain what all they did to tackle threats from Pakistan and Aroosa and now attacks in Pathankot or elsewhere took place,” said Randhawa.
Randhawa’s colleague and Gidderabaha MLA Raja Warring, who was sworn in as a transport minister, was even more acerbic as he attacked Amarinder, asking him to hasten his decision.
“We all know Capt saab protected our political opponents like Sukhbir Badal and his brother in law Bikram Majithia. Sukhbir was treated like his nephew,” said Warring.
Warring said MLAs of Congress and even ministers could never raise these concerns in public against Amarinder’s friendly relations with Badals of Akali Dal to protect them over issues of transport business and dilution of probes against them over 2015 sacrilege incidents in Bargari in Faridkot.
I was tied down to my commitment to protect Congress interests. Unfortunately, only what Sukhbir Badal and Bikram Majithia of Akali Dal wanted would happen in Punjab. Not what our own MLAs of Congress wanted
Warring also smelt a foul play in Amarinder’s public announcement to resolve farmer crisis over three anti-farm bills.
“If he was serious on this concern, why didn’t he do this when he was in Congress. This means its all part of strategy that he wants to bring back other parties to power” said Warring.
With Capt Amarinder’s announcement last evening to float a new political party soon, albeit in tie up with BJP and Akal Dal rebel factions there is a flurry of hectic activity and buzz whether Congress will see a division with some MLAs choosing to go with him and rest remaining intact but it’s a clear attack on the 79-year-old has already become shriller and sharper. Can new CM Charanjit Channi pull the rabbit out of his hat to help Congress win again or will the differences between him, mercurial Navjot Sidhu, Sukhjinder Randhawa over selection of DGP, advocate general Punjab and sealed reports on infamous drug scandal by two IPs Harpreet Sidhu & Sidharth Chattopadhyay become a bone of contention?