Amarinder confident of 2/3rd majority in Assembly polls


Patiala: Punjab Congress Chief Amarinder Singh today exuded confidence that the party would come to the power in the state with two third majority as he kicked off the second phase of his road show.

Reaching out to people of Patiala district, he promised to waive off farmer debts and vowed to protect the water of Punjab at all costs.

Amarinder expressed confidence that the party would form the next government in Punjab with 2/3rd majority in the 2017 assembly polls.

On allocation of tickets, the PPCC chief said the scrutiny committee will meet on November 29 and 30, followed by a meeting of the Congress Election Committee on December 3, to discuss the matter.

He said winnability would be the sole criteria in the candidate selection, and denied any major dispute in the party on ticket distribution.

To a question on the possibility of former Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu joining the Congress, Amarinder said Sidhu was currently shooting in Mumbai and would be with the party once back.

Joined by wife and former union minister Preneet Kaur, Amarinder made several halts along the way as he kicked off his high-tech bus roadshow from Shambu border in Ghanur.

Talking to media along the roadshow route, he said once in power, Congress will take over the liabilities of the farmers and pay their capital and interest.

On demonetisation, former Punjab CM reiterated that while the objectives of the initiative were fine but the implementation was totally “unplanned”, causing “extremely hardships” to the common people.

Describing SYL as a major election issue, Amarinder said this region (Rajpura, Ghanaur and surrounding areas) was faced with a dire water crisis and the SYL canal could not be allowed to be built at any cost.

Rejecting as an “outright lie” the Badals’ allegation that he had carried a silver ‘tasla/kassi’ for the foundation laying ceremony of SYL, Amarinder said he had carried a silver ‘tasla’ only once – during the 1984 kar seva at the Golden Temple.

He dismissed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on the Indus water treaty as “political posturing” ahead of the elections.

Modi had yesterday said the waters of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers that rightfully belong to India will be stopped from going waste in Pakistan and he will ensure that farmers here utilise it.

Rejecting the Aam Aadmi Party’s charges of a nexus between the Congress and the Akalis, Amarinder said he still had some cases pending against him in Ludhiana and Mohali.

He said AAP, in any case, was not an organisation but a group of “greedy perverts who were only interested in exploiting people for money and sex.”

Asked if the Congress could also consider a Dalit as deputy chief minister, in view of Arvind Kejriwal’s promise on the same, Amarinder said the AAP leader was in the habit of “telling lies”, and as far as Congress was concerned, a decision on deputy chief ministership would be taken by the party high command at the time of government formation.

The chief ministerial candidate would also be announced at the appropriate time, he added.

Asked about how strong the AAP candidate pitted against him was, Amarinder asked, “Who is Balbir Singh? I don’t know about him.