People are fed up of Badal, says Captain

People are fed up of Badal, says Captain
Punjab Congress president and former chief minister Capt  Amarinder Singh says this election will be his last. On March 11, the day the election results are announced, Capt Amarinder will turn 75. The date could prove lucky for him. It’s a three-cornered contest in Punjab and the former chief minister is pulling out all the stops to get the Congress back in power after a decade of Akali-BJP rule. On the sidelines of his election campaign in the last few weeks, Gautam Dheer spoke to him on the changing political narrative and more. Excerpts.

A decade out of power, why do you think Congress will come to power in Punjab?

There’s a strong anti-incumbency and anti-Badal sentiment in Punjab. The state has gone through terrible misrule. Law and order has collapsed. Drugs is consuming lives of people. Then there are mafias of land, liquor, sand, cable etc. Dalits have suffered. People are fed up. They want a change.

People also see change in the AAP. How do you see the AAP in the joust for power?

Kejriwal is a liar and an outsider. His party cannot protect the interest of Punjab. The AAP started well when they entered Punjab. Their organisation structure has collapsed. They have exposed their double face and corruption, like in ticket allotment. The party has limited impact and people will read through the party’s agenda.

How many seats are you confident of winning?

Congress will comfortably cross 70 seats out of 117.

You have a ‘battle ready’ General against you in Patiala?

You’ll see, for the first time a Captain will defeat a General.
You have been projected by Rahul Gandhi as CM candidate. What’s your plan for Punjab?

In a nutshell, we will bring Punjab back on its feet. We will wipe out drug menace in four weeks. Youth will be our focus and the unemployed youth will get Rs 2,500 each month as stipend. VVIP culture will completely end and even the CM will not use the chopper unless necessary. We’ll bring in legislation to protect Punjab waters.
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