Chandigarh : Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder has charged the Badals with indulging in politics of distraction to divert public attention from the widespread rebellion in their own party by unleashing a disinformation campaign against the Congress.
Captain Amarinder dismissed Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s `Congress tug of war’ remark, saying the Akali leadership should look at putting their own house in order before raking up non-existent differences within the Congress. He also renounced Badal’s allegation that the Congress would withdraw all subsidies and concessions in the state on coming to power as baseless rhetoric aimed at covering up his party’s own failures.
Having announced only 85 seats in more than a month, and faced with large-scale revolt within the party from disgruntled aspirants who had been denied tickets, the Shiromani AKali Dal was struggling to hold itself together, said Captain Amarinder, adding that the Badals’ party was coming down like a pack of cards which they were unable to put back together even by resorting to all kinds of gimmicks and violation of norms.
Pointing out that the first SAD list of 69 candidates was announced way back on November 16, Captain Amarinder noted that not a single list declared thereafter by the party had more than nine names, with the last list, released on Friday, containing only three names. This, said Captain Amarinder, clearly reflected the extent of discontent prevailing the Badal camp, which was striving desperately to remain in the fight for the Assembly elections.
Reports of revolt in the party continued to come in from different parts of the state every day, said Captain Amarinder, adding that allegations of allocation of tickets to tainted and undeserving aspirants were rife in the SAD, which was contesting 94 of the 117 assembly segments in the state under the seat-sharing pact with its ally, the BJP.
The disillusionment and resentment in the party was evident from the fact that as many as 18 key SAD leaders had quit the party to join the Congress in the last couple of months, Captain Amarinder noted. Several sitting MLAs and party office-bearers, apart from a large number of workers and supporters, had left SAD, accusing the party of functioning in a completely undemocratic and totalitarian manner, said the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief.
It is out sheer frustration at their crumbling edifice that the Badals have started resorting to delusional behaviour and personal attacks, making senseless and baseless allegations against the Congress, Captain Amarinder said, adding that they were exposing their desperation with every statement.