Congress has “discredited” its state leadership by using “face” of former premier Manmohan Singh to release the election manifesto, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Tuesday.
“Congress used Manmohan Singh’s face to release its election manifesto. The Congress leadership in Punjab is discredited,” Sukhbir, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said here.
For the past six months Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh was promising lot many things to the electorates, but to hide his “lie” party used the face of Manmohan Singh now, he said.
Manmohan Singh had yesterday released the Congress election manifesto. Punjab is slated to go for polls on February four.
“No one can trust Amarinder. He is a habitual liar,” Sukhbir said.
Congress manifesto was “vision less” document, he claimed adding the party failed to address issues like power, sewerage and water supply in villages and 4-G connectivity.
“In a way Congress has admitted in its manifesto that ruling Akali Dal-BJP combine had done enough of work on infrastructure, power, sewerage and water, connectivity and road network,” he said.
Congress in it’s manifesto had to promise that it would continue with free power, he said adding the manifesto only speaks about continuation of different schemes launched by the Akali government during its ten years rule.
Hitting out at Congress for announcing special tax status to Punjab in its manifesto, Sukhbir asked why it was not given to the state during the UPA regime.
Taking a jibe on Congress for declaring to shun VVIP culture, he said that all the party MLAs still use red beacon on its vehicles.
“Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal had been fighting for long to get a government accommodation earmarked for former chief ministers,” he said.
Punjab Congress vice president Manpreet Singh Badal’s family has over 20 personal security men, he claimed.
On the occasion, Congress leader from Kartarpur Rajesh Kumar along with his supporters joined the Akali Dal.
Sukhbir Singh Badal said the SAD will release its “precise” manifesto within couple of days.
Taking a dig at Manpreet Singh Badal, he said Manpreet had left Akali Dal in protest against subsidies of which he is talking now.
“It was a big mistake by Akali Dal to make Manpreet a Finance Minister,” he said. Manpreet is estranged cousin of Sukhbir.
“Manpreet has no financial background. He has just written an essay to pen down manifesto of Congress,” Sukhbir said attacking his cousin who is chairman of PCC’s election manifesto committee.
“The manifesto is useless and devoid of any new schemes,” he added.
Refuting opposition charges of the Badal family’s control over sand, liquor and cable and “running a mafia”, he claimed the revenue generated through liquor was Rs 5000 crore in Akali regime as against Rs 1400 crore during Congress rule.
“We auction the liquor vends and during Congress regime liquor baron Ponty Chadha used to call the shots,” he said.
Touching the sand issue, he said revenue generated through it was Rs 100 crore by the Akali government as against just Rs eight crore during the Congress regime.
“Cable is a private business and the government has nothing to do with it,” he said trashing the charges of his political opponents.
When his attention was drawn on assertion by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leadership to investigate the wealth of the Badal family, he said that they are welcome to do so.
He said that the fight of Akali Dal will be with rebels of the Congress. AAP will not touch the double figure mark, while Congress is no where in the race,.
The SAD-BJP combine will win close to 80 seats out of total 117 assembly constituencies, he claimed.
On attack on his cavalcade at Jalalabad during electioneering on Sunday, he alleged “AAP had instigated the people to do so in frustration.”
“We believe in peace and harmony. But that does not mean if some one will provoke us we will sit idle,” he said.
Hitting out at his opponent from Jalalabad Bhagwant Mann of AAP, he said Mann only “dream of becoming chief minister.”
“There are many CM post claimants in Congress including Partap Singh Bajwa, Navjot Kaur Sidhu and Manpreet,” he said taking a jibe at the Congress.