Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh on Monday attacked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and said he will fight the "Haryanvi" from wherever he decides to contest the upcoming state Assembly polls. "Kejriwal keeps saying that Amarinder Singh and Badal are together, he (Kejriwal, a former IRS officer) is a typical babu, who works cleverly. Kejriwal will not be allowed to come in and win the elections here and become Chief Minister of Punjab.
"He is a Haryanvi, he is a Delhiwala and I will fight him from wherever he stands. Win or lose is God's will, but I will not give him an easy chance in this," he said. He also launched an unsparing attack on Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who recently floated a new political front, labelling him as a "comedian".
Rejecting as "rhetoric" Kejriwal's vow to get the ruling Badals jailed for corruption, Singh said, "I have already shown that who can put them behind bars, I have already put them in jail (when he was CM from 2002-07). Do you think that corruption which is going on in Punjab, we will ignore it? We will go into every issue and wherever any irregularity and illegality is found, people will have to face the music."
The former Punjab chief minister also refuted Kejriwal's allegations that he (Singh) and the Badals were playing a "friendly match" and that they were "hand-in-glove" in many things. "Second, Kejriwal says he will send the Badals behind bars, this is all rhetoric, do you think we did it just like that! We took the matter to court and the court had put Badal and his son in jail.
"You can't just catch hold of a guy and tomorrow I will say you put this particular guy behind bars just because I don't like him, this may be the way Akalis' way to operate, not us. It will have to be investigated and in investigations whatever emerges, we will put these people behind bars where they belong. If they think they can get away with it then they are mistaken," he said. The Congress leader attacked Sidhu, who recently launched his Awaaz-e-Punjab front, which has support of two Independent MLAs from Ludhiana besides former hockey captain-turned- politician Pargat Singh.
"Let Navjot first say if he is still in BJP because his wife says she is still in BJP. He also says that he hasn't taken a final call (about his future). You tell me, can three MLAs form a party? Even I had formed a party Panthic Akali Dal, if you recall, we could not form organisation in two years, can they form in three months," Singh said. "I think we are over-rating Sidhu, he has been a cricketer, but nobody remembers his cricketing days, secondly, he has been doing cricket commentary, so people know him little bit from there.
Thirdly, they know him from this foolish programme which he does (on TV) where he tries to make everyone laugh, that is all that they know of him. That does not make you a leader of a state. If you think a comedian like Sidhu or a comedian like Bhagwant Mann or Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi (both AAP leaders) are the right people for Punjab, then God help Punjab," Singh said.
About the Sidhu-led 'fourth front', Singh said he does not see any threat from it and claimed that the anti-incumbency votes will go to the Congress. "No matter what they (Akalis) try this time, their ship has sunk. The Akalis have no chance whatsoever, they are a finished commodity. Their story is over for now," he said.
Training guns on Kejriwal, who recently said that he will stay put in Punjab till the ruling Badals are sent to jail for alleged acts of omission and commission, Singh said "first let him (Kejriwal) talk about his own corruption." "As a government officer (former IRS officer) how come he never moved out of Delhi for 24 years whereas other officers get routinely transferred out. Kejriwal started an NGO and it takes funding from the Ford Foundation. I am asking this question to Kejriwal that as a government officer how were you involved in this NGO, who gave you permission to have the foreign funds, isn't this corruption?"
To a question, he said, "Kejriwal must be investigated. You are not allowed to stay for more than 4-5 years at one place, how come he stayed back in Delhi for 24 years." Comparing the AAP National Convener with the fictional character of Dr Jekyll, who had an alternative personality, Mr Hyde, from an English novel, he said, "In the same manner he (Kejriwal) says one thing at one time and another thing the next time. Kejriwal is a confused man." "Kejriwal is a liar. He should first take care of Delhi," he added.
On the feasibility of the debt waiver in a state like Punjab, which has a precarious financial condition, he said it is not very difficult for the governments to generate resources "if there is a will to do something". Asserting that Congress, unlike AAP, was serious about debt waiver, the PCC president said his party would move a private member's bill in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha seeking debt waiver for the farmers.
Replying to a question about his having described the AAP manifesto released on Sunday as a "carbon copy" of Congress' policies, he said, "Rather it is a case of political plagiarism" claiming the Kejriwal-led party had copied everything his party had promised long before.