In a hard-hitting attack on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Congress vice President Rahul Gandhi today accused the AAP convener of backing the extremists in Punjab. Rahul also raked up the recent explosion, in a car near the venue of the poll campaign of Congress candidate Harminder Singh Jassi at Maur Mandi of Bathinda district in which six people had died, to target Kejriwal and SAD government.
Lashing out at the SAD-BJP government in the state over ‘corruption’, Rahul said, “Punjab is in Debt, while the Badals live a lavish life. When we come to power, we will return Punjab’s wealth to its people.” Rahul vowed to eradicate drugs from the state. “We will win the War on Drugs. Those who have hurt Punjab, we will put them in jail,” the Congress vice president said.
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The campaigning for the assembly elections in Punjab and Goa will come to an end today. The two states will go to polls on Saturday to elect new assemblies. The Election Commission has issued a detailed guideline to the District Election Officers in Punjab to ensure prohibition 48 hours before the end of assembly polls in the state. State Chief Electoral Officer V.K. Singh said the prohibition will start at 5 p.m. today and will continue till 5 p.m. on Saturday.
According to the guidelines, the ongoing campaigning in all the 117 assembly constituencies and Amritsar Lok Sabha bypoll would come to an end 48 hours prior to the polling date. Subsequently all the political leaders, functionaries or party workers who are not the registered voters will have to vacate the constituency within this period, said Singh.
A political tug of war has erupted over the incident. Kejriwal yesterday demanded the immediate arrest of SAD president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to
ensure a peaceful election in the state. “To ensure peaceful elections, Sukhbir Badal should be immediately arrested. His role in yesterday’s blast be probed. He’ll cause more violence,” Kejriwal tweeted.
On the other hand, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said incidents of sacrilege of holy books and the Bathinda car blast could be part of a “deep-rooted conspiracy” to divide Punjabis and ruin the hard earned peace and communal harmony in the state. “Dangers to peace lurk around the corner and it needs the maximum vigil on the part of the government and the people to keep the enemies of peace at bay. There is a conspiracy to bring back the old dark days in Punjab,” he said. Badal said he was not “surprised” that every mischievous act is followed by a sustained political campaign to malign the SAD-BJP government.
(With PTI inputs)