Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today accused the BJP of trying to destroy India's secular fabric through "divisive" means and politicising the armed forces for electoral gains. He also expressed anger at the ruling party's Bhopal candidate, Pragya Thakur, for denigrating a police officer who has lost his life in service of the country.
Amarinder Singh was speaking at the #TwitterChaupal, an interaction with the public under a peepal tree in Chuahr Majra village near Chandigarh today. At the event held in association with @TwitterIndia, the Chief Minister answered a wide range of questions posted on the social networking site as well as those raised by people who turned up on the occasion.
The Punjab Chief Minister said that he would ensure proper punishment for Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal if he's found guilty in the Guru Granth Sahib desecration cases, but maintained that it would be done in accordance with the law. "I believe in the constitution and the rule of law. I am totally against politics of vendetta," Amarinder Singh declared, clarifying that he is not going soft on the Badals.
He claimed that even in his previous term, it was the courts that put Mr Badal behind bars.
The Chief Minister's condemnation of Pragya Thakur came in connection with her remark that Maharashtra police officer Hemant Karkare was killed by terrorists during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks because she had placed a curse on him for probing her alleged role in the Malegaon blasts case. "Such remarks are totally unacceptable," he said.
Amarinder Singh said he working to ensure brighter days in Punjab, when unemployment and drugs become a thing of the past.
The state government, he said, was committed to generating jobs. "Things will improve when more industries come," he said. "In sharp contrast to the Rs 25,000-crore investment brought in by the earlier Akali Dal-BJP government, we have succeeded in attracting projects worth Rs 65,000 crore. Of this, 75% has already been realised."
Amarinder Singh said his government was taking strong measures to curb drug abuse in the state too. "More than 28,000 drug peddlers have been arrested with the help of the special task force," he claimed, adding that the menace was being eliminated through the twin initiatives of "enforcement and treatment".
But not all questions were of the serious kind. Party colleague Sachin Pilot asked the Chief Minister on Twitter what his life would have been like if he hadn't joined politics. The answer didn't take long coming: "I would have remained in the armed forces and retired by now."
Amarinder Singh had served in the Sikh regiment of the Indian Army between 1963 and 1966.