Majitha (Punjab): Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for claiming to fight corruption, while aligning with the "corrupt" Shiromani Akali Dal regime in Punjab.
He also dispelled the long drawn speculation on who would be the Chief Ministerial candidate for Punjab, and announced that Amarinder Singh would be the one to head the government if the Congress wins.
Addressing a political rally here in the Akali stronghold, Gandhi said: "Narendra Modi talks of corruption and religion at various places. But how can he stand with the corrupt Akali Dal leaders and talk of fighting corruption."
The Congress leader said: "Modi will come here and say that I fight against corruption and I have done demonetisation. Can you tell me how one who talks about fighting against corruption, can stand with the Akalis?".
"Can you tell me how Modi can stand on the same dais with (Deputy Chief Minister) Sukhbir Singh Badal and still talk about fighting corruption," he said.
"Entire Punjab knows that the state has been destroyed by the Akalis and brought to its knees," Gandhi added. Ending the guesswork Gandhi announced: "Your Chief Ministerial candidate is sitting here (on the dais). Amarinder Singh is our leader who will head the next government. He has worked hard for Punjab." Tearing into the activities of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's family in the past one decade, Gandhi said that the Badal family has monopolised most businesses in the state and was destroying Punjab.
"Be it transport, cable TV, sand, hotels or other businesses, the Badal family has monopolised everything," he alleged. Quoting the life of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru, the Congress leader said that the guru patronised the concept of "tera" (yours) and "sewa" (service), but the Akali Dal leadership only believed in the concept of "mera" (mine) as they have looted Punjab. Rahul Gandhi said that if the Congress comes to power in Punjab after the February 4 assembly polls, the government would bring in a legal policy to take strictest action against those involved in the drugs trade. "People who are involved in drugs trade should hear this that we will bring such a law that even the thought of drugs will scare you," Gandhi cautioned. The Congress Vice President cautioned the people against the claims and promises made by the Aam Aadmi Party leaders. "AAP government made tall promises to people of Delhi but has failed to implement anything. AAP is trying to mislead people in Punjab," he said. The Congress is heading for a bitter political fight with the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the 117 assembly seats on February 4.