Even as Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi threatened legal action against his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal, his predecessor and Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) leader Capt Amarinder Singh on Friday launched a scathing attack on the Congress leader, whose government, he said, had clearly ‘stage-managed’ the blockade that had led to the serious security lapse on the Prime Minister’s route.
Amarinder said he had earlier passed the bridge, where the Prime Minister remained stuck for a long duration, and there was no blockade there. “Clearly, the Channi government had instructed the police to not remove the farmers who were stopping BJP buses from reaching the spot,” he said.
Describing the incident as a major security lapse which no constitutional head should ever have to face and which could easily have become a threat to the Prime Minister’s life given the proximity to the international border, the former chief minister said instead of taking a defiant stand, Channi should have issued an unequivocal apology. “We are sensitive border state and Pak ISI is always looking to create trouble here,” he pointed out, asserting that “one cannot ever take any chances.”
Dubbing Channi as an unreliable and untrustworthy person who had made transfers and postings an industry in Punjab in the past three months, Captain Amarinder said the incumbent government had been exposed as a ‘suitcase di sarkar’ after the recent ED raids that had unearthed crores of rupees from the chief minister’s kin.
In a social media interaction, the former CM said the Enforcement Directorate seizure from Channi’s kin was a follow-up on the case that the agency had registered after he had ordered an inquiry while he was heading the government. Unfortunately, he said he had been unable to take any serious action against the Congress MLAs who were involved in illegal mining in the state as that would have damaged the party’s interests and Sonia Gandhi had failed to respond to his query on which minister or MLA she wanted him to sack over the issue.
Amarinder regretted having helped Channi resolve the #metoo complaint against him, saying the then minister had fallen on his feet and pledged loyalty to him for life. “Now he has changed colours and is claiming he had been trying to get rid of me for the past two years!,” quipped the PLC leader.
Labelling Channi a total failure, the PLC chief said the new chief minister had done nothing except indulge in postings and transfers since taking over. “Three DGPs have been changed, his home minister has been openly accused in a cabinet meeting by his colleague that money was being taken for posting of SSP, there was a tug of war on the AG’s post…This is not ‘lokaan di sarkar’ but ‘transfer posting di sarkar’, which has now also become ‘suitcase di sarkar’,” he added.
“Even the announcements made by Channi are nothing but projects that were launched or announced by me,” said Amarinder, citing the examples of farm loan waiver, jobs under Ghar Ghar Rozgar scheme, investments in Punjab, free bus travel for women etc. “Even the free power which he claims to be his initiative was something my government was working on finding ways and means to implement,” he added. Amarinder said Manpreet Badal, as finance minister, had scuttled many of his schemes and plans by claiming to have no funds, which, it appears now, was a total lie.