Capt Amarinder Singh hits Modi, Navjot Singh Sidhu targets Amarinder
Chandigarh, April 10: Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today morning positioned himself at the national level when he shot off a complaint to the Chief Election Commission against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for violating code of conduct while seeking votes invoking Pulwama and Balakot.
Being a soldier adds to his legitimacy to question Modi’s electoral appeal that violates Election Commission directive to political parties against dragging in armed forces in the electoral narrative.
This is for the first time that the electoral narrative has touched such depths. While Modi appealed to the people to “dedicate” their votes to “brave soldiers” who carried out Balakot air strike and to the “braves martyred” in the Pulwama terror attack, BJP chief Amit Shah took the divisive and vicious campaign to another level when he likened Waynad to Pakistan. Waynad is the second seat from where Congress president Rahul Gandhi has filed his nomination. This amounts to dubbing the Muslims who constitute the second biggest demographic component in India as Pakistanis.
He has been quoted by The Indian Express having said, “When a procession is taken out, you cannot make out whether it is India or a Pakistan procession”.
His exact quote: “Aur yeh Rahul Baba apne gathbandan ke liye, keral ke andar aisi seat par jakar khade hain ki maloom hi nahin padta juloos nikala hai toh Bharat hai ya Pakistan ka jaloos hai. Maloom hi nahin padta, aisi jagah jaake khade hain”.
This narrative borders extreme and has the potential to take back the country to the period of “Hindu Paani-Muslim Paani”.
It is under this situation that Capt Amarinder Singh has joined issues with Modi.
It may be mentioned that at one time, his politics had come to be questioned when he bailed out Modi government on the issue of a Kashmiri having been used by the Army in Kashmir as a human shield. Modi had at one time publicly praised him.
While he hit out at Modi, his cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu stirred up fresh controversy in Punjab by saying that Capt Amarinder Singh was the best candidate to contest in Bathinda against Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
He was talking to a news TV.
It may be mentioned that although Capt Amarinder Singh has not proposed it, the name of Sidhu’s wife Dr Navjot Kaur has hit the narrative as a suitable candidate to oppose Harsimrat. The other seat for which her name has surfaced in a similar manner is Anandpur Sahib.
She was keen to contest from Chandigarh but the party favoured old war horse Pawan Bansal.
Issue based differences between Capt Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu is an old story with Kartarpur Sahib corridor narrative being the most important.
Sidhu is among the star campaigners in the Congress with the highest strike rate going by his earlier record. Capt Amarinder Singh is the other leader in this role but his main responsibility is Punjab.
The chief minister is not supposed to contest the Lok Sabha election but to command the campaign in the state but Sidhu has now ignited fresh controversy.
Power struggle in the Punjab Congress has now entered the public domain.