With the Congress set to form government in Punjab, state party chief Amarinder Singh today said tackling drug menace would be a priority even as he attacked SAD for having brought the state “down to its knees”. In his usual combative style, Amarinder, who turned 75 today, also took a dig on Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal saying the Delhi Chief Minister was like a “summer storm which had come and gone”. “Anybody who is found involved in the drug scourge will be dealt as per law, howsoever powerful he may be. I have said within four weeks we will tackle this drugs problem,” Singh, who was the Congress’ chief ministerial face, told a crowded press conference here.
Incidents of sacrilege in Punjab will be investigated, he said responding to another query.
The drug menace as well as the incidents of sacrilege in various parts of the state were among the major issues in the Punjab assembly polls.
Singh, who was the Punjab Chief Minister from 2002 to 2007, said his party is also committed to providing good governance, besides focusing on health and education, which too will be priorities.
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Asked whether Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had joined Congress from the BJP ahead of the polls would be made Deputy Chief Minister, Singh said these decision would be taken by party Vice President Rahul Gandhi as Congress chief Sonia Gandhi is presently abroad.
“We will give our recommendation, but the final decision lies with Rahul ji,” he said.
Hitting out at the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leadership, Amarinder said they have brought the state “down on its knees” and destroyed Punjab.
He also lauded the wisdom of Punjab voters for not choosing AAP saying the it had “no leadership”.
“Arvind Kejriwal is like a summer storm which came and has gone,” Singh said.
Singh also sought cooperation of the Narendra Modi led government. People of Punjab want development, jobs, industry, better education and health. “We hope Union Government will recognise demands of Punjab and assist us,” he said.
A meeting of the Punjab Congress legislature party has been summoned here tomorrow, he said.
“We remain committed to fulfilling all that we have promised in our manifesto,” Singh, who was flanked by party leaders Harish Chaudhry and Asha Kumari, said.
Singh thanked the people of Punjab for their overwhelming support as well as Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and the party workers.
Asked if Congress wins 75 seats, will it be an icing on the cake since he turns 75 today, he said, “I hope that we get 78 seats because that gives us 2/3rd majority.”
To a question on whether Congress’ victory was due to his image and efforts, Singh said, “It’s a win of the Congress party. You cannot divorce me from my party.”
Asked how crucial was the party’s good performance in Punjab for the Congress as a whole, Amarinder said, “I think every state is important for the Congress”.