Rahul calls Sukhbir Badal 'symbol of corruption', attacks Modi

Rahul calls Sukhbir Badal 'symbol of corruption', attacks Modi
Rahul Gandhi today 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.

Rahul, who yesterday began his election tour to poll-bound Punjab, today addressed a poll rally in the pocket borough of Sukhbir Badal here, 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 Sukhbir Badal and Modi, Rahul 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."

"Sab say zyada brashtachar Hindustan main ek pradesh main hota hain. Aur us brashtchar ka koyee chin hain, koyee nishan hain, toh uska naam Sukhbir Badal hain. (In India, maximum corruption takes place in one state. And if there is any symbol of this corruption, it is Sukhbir Singh Badal)," Rahul said launching a sharp attack on Sukhbir, who is five-time CM Prakash Singh Badal's son.

Attacking Modi in the same breath, Rahul said, "Modi comes here (to Punjab), delivers speech and says he is against corruption and has waged a war against it. Modi tells people here is Sukhbir Badal, you support him, vote for him and re-elect him."

"On one hand, Modi says he is fighting corruption and on the other hand he is trying to help India's most corrupt person. So, Mr Modi, tell us clearly if you are fighting against corruption, then why are you standing by Sukhbir Badal. Why are you helping him. Entire Punjab knows Sukhbir Badal is a symbol of corruption, but you say no no he is not a symbol of corruption. Now, whether people are right or whether you (Modi) are right, we will come to know in polls," he said.

Rahul said 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 charged.

He promised that if Congress forms the government in Punjab, then the regime led by Amarinder Singh, will bring a tough law to tackle the drug problem.  Rahul said Congress delivers what it promises to the people unlike other parties who allegedly betray people after coming to power.

Attacking Arvind Kejriwal and AAP, Rahul said the Delhi CM had promised to voters that he will transform Delhi if his party comes to power there, but "now various sections were up against them for befooling the people".

"Ask autorickshaw wallahs, slum dwellers, safai karamcharis, poor, they will tell you the reality," he said hitting out at AAP. Rahul also said that Kejriwal knows fully well that his game is over in Delhi and he is facing public wrath there, which is why now he wants to become "Punjab's CM".

He, however, said that people of Punjab will never chose an "outsider". 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. Rahul yesterday began his Punjab tour 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.


Gandhi reiterated his party will strive to combat drug menace in the state enacting strict law and assured of generating employment opportunities once the Amarinder Singh-led government is formed there. Directing most of his attacks at Badals, Gandhi claimed the family wants "share" in every investment or industry that comes Punjab's way, which he suggested, is the reason why projects go out of the state, resulting in poor employment, further causing the youth there to move out in search of opportunities.

Addressing the gathering, Rahul said Capt Amarinder would change the face of Punjab, "which has been completely devastated by the corrupt and tyrannical Badals", in just two years after taking over as chief minister. Referring to Kejriwal, Rahul said "Punjab goes not need a "dictator".

"Kejriwal runs Delhi like Modi does the country. Kejriwal does not take anyone into confidence. First he shunted out Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from the party and suspended two of his MPs because they did not toe his line and raised questions about his style of functioning...," Rahul said.

"The Congress workers, over the past one decade, have been fighting the tyranny of the Badals who have taken control of all the state's businesses and major assets, transforming Punjab's culture of giving (tera hai) into the culture of taking (mera hai), he added.

He praised the Punjabis and the Sikh community, pointing out that wherever they go, be it United States, Europe or any other country or even any other state of India, they are known for putting hard work and working with honesty. He also said the 'Atta Daal' scheme of the SAD-BJP government was in fact, a copy of a similar scheme run by the previous Manmohan Singh led UPA government and the Akalis had only pasted their photos to take credit.

Speaking on the occasion, Capt Amarinder Singh, began his address by attacking the ruling Badals. "Vade nu te main Lambi vich sut kar rahanga (I will throw senior Badal out in Lambi)," he said, adding that Sukhbir would be wiped out in Jalalabad by the people.

He said that he had chosen to contest his last election from Patiala, where he started his political career, but had decided to fight from Lambi also (CM's constituency) to teach Badal a lesson.

Dismissing AAP as inexperienced, "with not a single person with knowledge of governance", Amarinder lashed out at Kejriwal for refusing to contest polls or even debate with him, despite his repeated challenges.

"Delhi, under AAP's governance, is in a mess with teachers not being regularised, doctors not getting their salaries and 19 MLAs of the party behind bars on corruption and rape charges," said Amarinder, warning the people against experimenting if they wanted the revival of Punjab.

"As a bunch of outsiders they will never stand by Punjab and will ensure completion of SYL, causing 10 lakh acres of land, including Jalalabad to go dry," he warned. Earlier, terming Amarinder as the pradhan (chief) of the party and the chief-minister-to-be of the state, the Congress star campaigner and Amritsar East candidate Navjot Singh Sidhu said Akali Dal would become "Khali Dal" after the polls.
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