9 Undeterred by AAP criticism, Congress says have not given it blank cheque

9 AAP MLAs already in touch with Congress High Command

Chandigarh – Undeterred by the Aam Aadmi Party’s criticism and accusations, the Punjab Congress today went hammer and tongs against the Punjab government for resorting to drama and theatrics and expecting the Congress to support it.

“We are the principal opposition party and we are performing the role of a constructive opposition and supporting you when it comes to safeguarding the interests of Punjab”, the leaders said, while adding, “but don’t think that we have issued a blank cheque or given you a general power of attorney that we will support your unconstitutional actions”.

Addressing a joint press conference the Congress Legislative Party leader Partap Singh Bajwa and the Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring ridiculed the charges of the AAP that the Congress had aligned with the BJP in opposing the AAP.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, former minister Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa and MLA Hardev Singh Laadi were also present during the press conference.

Bajwa and Warring said it was the AAP, which was the B-team of the BJP as its leader Arvind Kejriwal had emerged from an anti-Congress movement that had been propped up by the BJP and the RSS. Even now, he pointed out, the AAP is playing into the hands of the BJP by trying to cut into votes of the Congress in the election bound states of Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

The Congress leaders said, the way Bhagwant Mann was singing paeans to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to Punjab, it was more than obvious that he was going to be the Eknath Shinde of Punjab before the parliamentary elections.

The leaders pointed out, the Congress leaders were the victims of the BJP’s investigating agencies like the ED with Ms Sonia Gandhi downwards most of them being slapped with fake cases and false charges and there cannot be a question of supporting the BJP in any case.

Referring to the one day special Vidhan Sabha session called by the AAP government for moving a “vote of confidence”, Bajwa and Warring while quoting the rulebooks said, there was no such provision. They said, the Governor was urged to revise the consent given to summoning of the Vidhan Sabha for special session. They thanked the Governor for canceling his earlier order thus saving the important institution of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha which the AAP wanted to misuse.

The CLP leder and the PCC president said, the Congress has been and will play the role of a constructive opposition. “Whenever and wherever the AAP government needed Congress support in the interest of Punjab we gave it, but that does not mean we give you a blank cheque or power of attorney for everything you do”, they remarked, while pointing out, the Congress supported the government on the issues like saving the status of Panjab University, resolution on the BBM and employees of Chandigarh to not allow weakening of the Punjab’s claim over its capital and the Agnipath. It is a different story that the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in a complete U-turn supported the scheme later, they pointed out.

Responding to a question on the another session being called by the government on other issues, Bajwa and Warring listed some priority concerns which, they said, needed urgent discussion. They pointed out, the SYL issue and the sacrilege issue just to name a few need urgent attention and hoped these will be on the agenda.

The CLP leader and the PCC president reminded Arvind Kejriwal that during Charanjit Singh Channi’s tenure as Chief Minister he (Kejriwal) had said, the only thing needed to be done was to pick up the report prepared by Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh and act on it. “You are into the government for six months now, what is stopping you from picking up this report and acting upon it?” they asked Kejriwal and Mann.

Referring to the “operation lotus”, they said, it was a mere drama as AAP was fearing complete rebellion within its ranks. They disclosed, according to an information revealed by an intelligence officer to a senior police officer in Punjab, 12 of the AAP MLAs from Punjab were in touch with the Congress high command and the BJP. They said, while 9 were in touch with the Congress, 3 were in touch with the BJP.

Bajwa and Warring said the bogey of “operation lotus” was raised to deflect the attention from AAP’s failures and grave allegations of corruption against its ministers and MLAs. They pointed out, there was an audio recording of the minister planning to extort bribe from some contractors and still no action had been taken.