Punjab Elections 2017: Rahul Gandhi Calls Badals ‘Corrupt’, Attacks PM Narendra Modi

JALALABAD, PUNJAB: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, in his Jalalabad rally, stepped up his attack against the ruling Badals, calling Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal a “symbol of corruption” and asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clear the air on why he was seeking votes for the “corrupt” if he was fighting against the menace ahead of Punjab elections slated for next month.

Mr Gandhi, who began his election tour to poll-bound Punjab yesterday, addressed a poll rally in the pocket borough of Sukhbir Badal in Jalalabad on Saturday from where the SAD president is seeking re-election.

The Nehru-Gandhi scion attacked the Akalis for allegedly plundering Punjab and appealed people to vote for the Congress in the February 4 polls “to transform Punjab”.

Attacking Akali Dal-BJP alliance in Punjab, Mr Gandhi said, “On one hand there is the Akali Dal and on the other hand there is Narendra Modi. Mr Modi comes here (to Punjab) and says he is against corruption and is fighting against corruption.” And on the other, Punjab remains the most corrupt state under the Badals, said the Congress vice-president.

“In India, maximum corruption takes place in one state. And if there is any symbol of this corruption, it is Sukhbir Singh Badal,” Mr Gandhi said launching a sharp attack Punjab CM Prakash Singh Badal’s son.

He went on to say that the ruling Badals had “plundered” the state for their own interests. “They have ruined the state by controlling everything here. The youth is unemployed while the industry is in shambles.”

He promised that if the Congress forms the government in Punjab, then the regime led by Amarinder Singh, will bring a tough law to tackle the drug problem.

Rahul also said that Congress has always stood for and will always stand for the welfare of the poor, downtrodden, Dalits, small farmers, labourers and other weaker sections and appealed to the public to give the party a chance to serve them in Punjab.

He also talked about the problems faced by the common people in the wake of demonetisation.

Notably, Jalalabad Assembly constituency is witnessing a high-profile contest this time, with two MP of rival parties throwing their hat in the ring to take on Sukhbir Badal. While Congress has fielded its Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu to take on Sukhbir Badal, AAP has fielded its Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann from the seat.

Mr Gandhi began his Punjab tour yesterday by addressing a rally at Majitha, from where Cabinet Minister and Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal’s brother-in-law, Bikram Singh Majithia is seeking re-election for third term. Apart from the Badals and PM Modi, he also took potshots at Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal. Referring to the Delhi Chief Minister, Mr Gandhi said “Punjab goes not need a “dictator”.