PATIALA, November 16: Congress Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh today said that his party was open to alliance with the likeminded parties for the 2017 assembly elections in the state. He said, the ouster of the Akali-BJP government was a foregone conclusion and the Congress was ready to step in.
The former Chief Minister also went to meet the family of late Capt Ashwani Kumar, who died recently in Siachen, at their residence in Urban Estate. Sharing his grief with the bereaved family, he said, whole of Patiala stood by them. He said, Capt Ashwani will always be remembered and Patiala will always be proud of him.
Talking to reporters after attending the National Press Day celebrations organised by the Patiala Media Club here today, the senior Congress leader said, although the party was in a very strong position to get a comfortable majority of its own it was still open to alliance with the likeminded parties to ensure that the secular and progressive vote against the SAD-BJP alliance did not divide. He said, Bihar experiment had proved to be very successful and there was no harm in trying a similar arrangement here also.
The former Chief Minister did not approve of the state government slapping sedition charges against the radical leaders and putting them behind the bars. He said, this was no solution as the government instead of addressing the basic issues was trying to gag the voice of the people.
He criticised the SAD’s plans to hold rallies in the state, saying this was not the right time to do so. “Is this the time for this government to hold a show of strength when everybody knows that it had lost all the strength?” he asked, adding, instead the government should address the public grievances first and show its progress report, if it had any, to the people.
Replying to a question on the lack of coordination between the state and the central government, Capt Amarinder said, the Prime Minister Modi was acting as an autocrat who did not like to take anybody into confidence, not even his own ministers like Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj.
He recalled that when he was the Chief Minister and Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, he would always get issues sorted out. “Despite we belonging to two different parties we never had any problem with Vajpayee Ji”, he recalled, while adding, “in strong contrast Modi does not care about anyone including Mr Badal despite the two being the alliance partners”.
On Aam Aadmi Party’s prospects in Punjab, the veteran Congress leader said, people of Punjab are wise enough not to experiment with inexperienced people. He pointed out, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had proved to be total failure. He said, he would try to put all the blame for his failures either on the Prime Minister or the Lieutenant Governor. “Then what is he there for?” he asked, while pointing out, even Sheila Dixit remained Chief Minister for 15 years and she never complained about anything even when there was BJP government at the centre.