Sukhbir, the force behind Akali success

Sukhbir, the force behind Akali success

One man credited for the historic victory of the SAD-BJP alliance for the second consecutive term in 2012 in Punjab is Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal. During the course of campaigning in the last few weeks, as parties try to catch the attention and mood of the voters, Gautam Dheer sought reactions from Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on the sidelines of the election campaign.

You seem to be downplaying the anti-incumbency factor?

We have performed and everyone is talking about the development that has taken place in Punjab. Anti-incumbency arises from non-performance. On specific seats, maybe, which is why we have replaced many MLAs. You’ll see the SAD-BJP in Punjab will ensure a hat-trick.
Drugs is turning out to be a major poll issue. How do you see it?
The drug problem is not limited to Punjab alone. Its an attempt to defame the youth of Punjab. The Congress and the AAP are spreading wrong things about Punjab. We have achieved substantial results with crackdown on drugs. The recent dope tests conducted on thousands of  youths during police recruitments in the state proved that only a minuscule number were drug addicts.

What is your election agenda?
Development is the key agenda. Punjab has made phenomenal progress in the last 10 years of the SAD-BJP rule. Having a government in Punjab that is in conflict with the Centre will hamper Punjab’s interest and limit the development work.

Is the AAP a factor in Punjab polls?
They are misleading people. The AAP is limited to a few seats in the Malwa belt and not anywhere else. Our contest is with the Congress.

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