Chandigarh, April 22 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh’s visit to North America had turned out to be a complete flop show and the "Maharaja" could now leave all pretences aside and start holidaying as per his original plan.
In a statement here, SAD general secretary Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said the PCC president’s intentions had become clear from April 19, the day he set foot in Chicago. "Amarinder remained holed up in a luxurious hotel and received multi millionaire NRIs only in his room to the exclusion of everyone else. He wanted to meet wealthy NRIs only and was not interested in interacting with the common man". He said this was why Amarinder’s team did not follow the due procedure resulting in him not getting permission to hold political rallies in Canada now.
The Akali leader said if seen from this standpoint it was clear the Amarinder was only letting out steam by writing a protest letter to the Canadian Prime Minister in this regard. "This is an eye wash. Punjabis know about your carefree nature and your desire to shift to cooler climes during the summer months. It therefore should not surprise NRIs also that they have also been misled into believing that Amarinder really wanted to interact with them and know about their problems when he had no such intention.
Dr Daljit Cheema said the sad but bitter truth was that Capt Amarinder had also descended to the level of some other Punjab leaders who now depended on funds from abroad to keep themselves afloat in Punjab. He said nothing else could explain why Amarinder had decided to hold only private meetings in the US and Canada as had been admitted by him today in his letter to the Canadian PM. He said this proved that Amarinder had gone abroad solely to collect funds and never had any intention of meeting ordinary NRIs publically.
Urging Amarinder not to lower the standard of polity by refusing to even meet the ordinary NRI and continuing to practice the ‘darbari’ culture which had been rejected by the people of Punjab, the akali leader also asked him to spare NRIs from the greed and avarice of his party as well as his coterie. "The actions of your coterie members prior to your visit are already bringing disrepute to your party. Please tell them not to look at NRIs as note- gifting machines but simple people who come to listen to politicians from Punjab because they are concerned about the welfare of their brethren back home as well as their State. We should give NRIs the respect they deserve and should not exploit their sentiments to engage in fund collection", he added.
Dr Cheema also challenged Capt Amarinder to spell out any series of initiatives or even one initiative he had taken to mitigate the problems of NRIs. He also asked NRIs to compare Amarinder’s non performance as chief minister on the NRI front with the series of decisions taken by the SAD-BJP government to resolve all problems being faced by NRIs be it related to civil, revenue or police matters.