Chandigarh, March 24: Ruling out any threat from the other major political parties in the next Assembly elections, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said he believed that his experience of governing the state and also in the Army will help him handle the challenges of the state beyond 2022.
Speaking at a media event, the Chief Minister trashed the C-voter survey, that gave the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) a leader in the 2022 Assembly polls, as a “paid job” of Arvind Kejriwal. The AAP leader has a huge media budget he can use to buy such surveys, he said, adding that Kejriwal’s party poses no risk to Congress in Punjab. “This same company had predicted 100 seats for AAP in 2016/17 and everyone knows how many they ultimately got”, he said adding that Kejriwal and his party would meet the same fate in 2022.
Pointing out that the Delhi chief minister had failed to implement even 30% of his promises in his previous terms, Captain Amarinder said Kejriwal should focus on his own state instead of talking rubbish in Punjab. “He talks about giving jobs to Punjab when his own track record in Delhi is pathetic!” quipped the Chief Minister.
As for the Akalis, they are a divided lot and the party is splintering, with nobody to hold them together, said the Chief Minister, adding that Badal Senior is no longer in a position to lead the party due to his age. On the BJP’s prospects in Punjab, his response was “Which BJP?”. The party has no support base in the state, where people are in fact angry with them, he said, adding that the BJP could even end up getting back with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in desperation.
On his own suitability to lead his party in the next polls, Captain Amarinder said while no one is indispensable he believes he can help Punjab. He has experience in handling the state, especially Agriculture which he had been managing since 1985, whenever in office. The industry has to grow, and they have to have confidence in the leadership, he said, adding that the fact that the state has received Rs 73000 crore on-ground investment since his government took over in 2017 shows their confidence. Further, said the Chief Minister, Pakistan also needs to be dealt with an iron hand and his past Army training can help him tackle the threat.
The Chief Minister pointed out that with 84.6% per cent poll promises fulfilled by the ruling party in these four years, Punjab had set a record in the country. This, he said, was despite the huge losses suffered due to Covid in the past one year. He expressed the confidence that by the end of his term, 100% of the promises made to the people of Punjab would have been fulfilled. “Punjab lives in my heart,” said Captain Amarinder, underlining his commitment to the welfare of the state and its people.