Rahul’s claims of deciding CM’s face farce: Amarinder

Even as he dubbed as farce Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s claims of deciding the chief minister face with inputs from the ground, Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) chief Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday predicted an abysmal defeat for Navjot Singh Sidhu from Amritsar East, which he had won in the past only with the support of the BJP.

Addressing the media after filing his nomination papers from Patiala Urban and inaugurating his party office there, the former chief minister termed as ridiculous Sidhu’s charge of his hand in pitting Bikram Singh Majithia against him by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

“I’m not Majithia’s uncle,” quipped Capt Amarinder, adding with 38 per cent of the voters in Amritsar East being Hindus and 32 per cent Scheduled Castes, Sidhu’s defeat was certain. The BJP, as part of alliance with the PLC and SAD Sanyukt, has fielded a strong candidate from the constituency, he added.

On Rahul Gandhi’s statement that the Congress would announce its chief ministerial candidate in the state after taking inputs from the ground, Capt Amarinder said this was just theatrics. He pointed out that as per procedure, the people elect their MLAs and then the CLP elects the chief minister, “and so all this talk of is just drama”.

Asked to comment on the decision of the farmers to contest the polls, the former chief minister said it was their right to do so. He personally had always supported them, said Capt Amarinder, pointing out that his government had announced jobs and Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each of the farmers who died during the agitation against the farm laws.

Exuding confidence of the PLC-BJP-SAD Sanyukt alliance forming the next government in Punjab, Capt Amarinder said, in response to a question, the decision to allow some of the PLC candidates to contest on the BJP symbol was taken keeping in mind the voter demographics.

While four PLC candidates will contest on the BJP symbol in urban segments, two of their candidates will fight on the PLC symbol in the rural constituencies, he explained.

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