Congress's Amarinder Singh negated any threat from either the AAP or the Shiromani Akali Dal
Nihal Singh Wala, Punjab:
Dismissing any threat from either the Akali Dal or the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Punjab Congress president and the chief ministerial candidate of the party Amarinder Singh today termed the battle of the upcoming state Assembly polls as a fight between the Congress on one hand and the "most corrupt politician", Sukhbir Badal, and the "biggest of all liars", Arvind Kejriwal, on the other.
Exuding confidence of a "Congress sweep" in the polls, Mr Singh negated any threat from either the AAP or the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), saying he did not see them securing "more than 25 and 12 seats respectively".
"The Congress would win the remaining seats hands down," he said, adding that the party would emerge victorious from all the four seats in Moga district, while the SAD would "trail heavily" even in their strongholds of Lambi and Jalalabad -- the seats of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal respectively.
Mr Singh alleged that Mr Sukhbir's own constituency of Jalalabad was in a "big mess" due to "no development" since the deputy chief minister had been "busy all these years looting the state".
He came down heavily on Parkash Singh Badal for the "growing religious intolerance and incidents of sacrilege" in Punjab, promising to put him behind bars after getting all the cases of desecration re-investigated.
Mr Singh promised to "free" the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) from the "shackles of the Badals", who had "transformed it into their personal fiefdom for political exploitation" and reiterated his support for anyone standing up against the Badals in the SGPC.
Addressing public rallies in support of Congress candidates Rajwinder Kaur Bhagike and Harchand Kaur from Nihal Singh Wala and Mehal Kalan constituencies respectively, Amarinder claimed that the AAP, "with its Haryanvi leader and outsider base", was not in a position to provide stable governance in Punjab, which he said could not afford to experiment with a new dispensation in the midst of the "ongoing crisis".
The former Punjab chief minister, gearing up for the last poll battle of his long political career, referred to reports of a large number of "outsiders" being brought in by the AAP for its roadshow in Patiala to caution the people against being taken in by Mr Kejriwal's "false promises".
Mr Singh vowed to throw behind bars Akali leaders such as Bikram Singh Majithia and Tota Singh, who had "destroyed the lives of lakhs with their drug mafia and food scams"