Citing law and order problem, Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh on Sunday asked the Election Commission to send back AAP volunteers from outside the state. He said he had written to EC to take cognisance of the fact that AAP had inducted more than 27,000 Punjabi-origin people settled elsewhere, including foreign nationals, and 40,000 volunteers from other states to campaign for their candidates during February 4 Assembly polls.
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Apprehending serious trouble, including a “Punjab versus Outsiders” divide, Singh alleged they were going door-to-door with “all kinds of falsehood and misleading propaganda” and holding rallies against the Election Commission’s norms. As per the ECI guidelines, outsiders cannot stay in Punjab for elections on the appointed dates and are supposed to leave the state 48 hours before the polling, he said in his letter.
Singh further claimed that there was resentment among the local youths who were likely to confront these outsiders, which may lead to violent clashes before and during the polls. He alleged these people were active in Majha, Doaba and Malwa regions of the state under AAP three leaders – Durgesh Pathak, Sanjay Singh, and Jarnail Singh respectively. Some of these foreign nationals were assuring the youth to take them abroad for jobs, he claimed.
In ensure peaceful elections, Singh urged the EC that these outsiders be identified and moved out immediately, or “it will create a law and order situation”. Attacking Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal, Singh said he had shown that he had neither time nor interest in looking after the people of Punjab and their welfare. Claiming that AAP had absolutely no connect with this state, he said the party was only trying to exploit the poll opportunity to promote its vested interests.
Meanwhile, attacking the Badal family for the corrupt and anti-people policies, he alleged they had looted the people through multitude of mafias, including liquor, transport, sand, cable etc. Sand, for instance, was a Rs 6000-crore business while the state was earning a meagre revenue of Rs 35 crore, it clearly indicates a nexus between the sand mafia and the ruling Akalis, he alleged. He also slammed Badals for allegedly failing to protect the water rights of Punjab, bringing the state, particularly the southern region of Malwa, to the brink of aridity.
Singh also hit out at SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal for allegedly copying Congress’ promise of farm debt waiver, saying what he had been doing for the past 10 years and why the Akali government had not taken care of farmers’ interest.