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Development? Hardly any, claims Jarnail

The Tribune 2017-01-11 02:02:00

Waterlogging ‘bares it all’

  • Could they find a cure for waterlogging? The Centre sent Rs 700 crore but nobody knows where it was spent… When a student fails, the school doesn't promote him to next class. But you have made Badal the CM five times, and that too when he failed on each occasion.”— Jarnail Singh, AAP Lambi candidate
AAP candidate Jarnail Singh campaigns in Lambi. A Tribune photo

Archit Watts

Tribune News Service

Lambi, January 11

If Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has been seeking votes in his home turf Lambi in the name of development, peace and communal harmony, his AAP rival Jarnail Singh has been targeting the SAD patron over alleged fake police cases registered against political opponents, drug menace and the family’s business cartel. Probably aware he is pitted against a veteran who has been ruling Lambi for decades, Jarnail has been urging voters to “shun the fear they have in their mind and vote for a change”. A legislator from Rajouri Garden in Delhi (he quit the post to contest in Punjab), he never forgets to mention his “sacrifices”: “This is my second sacrifice, now for the sake of Punjab. Arvind Kejriwal offered me a ministerial berth in the Delhi government, but I turned down his offer only to take on Badal. I earlier quit journalism after hurling a shoe at then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram (for alleged delay in justice to the 1984 riot victims).” Addressing a rally at a village in chaste Punjabi from a battery-operated loudspeaker, he says he was just 11 when he lost his brother in the anti-Sikh riots. Again taking on the Badals, he once more raises the alleged terror of fake criminal cases and incidents of land grabbing by those in power. “Let your own government come in Punjab. The land in the illegal possession of some people—he names two local Akali leaders—will be given back to their original owners. These goons will be put behind bars,” he says, getting a big round of applause from the audience. Jarnail next challenges the development plank of the Badals: “Could they find a cure for waterlogging in this area? The Centre sent Rs 700 crore to tackle the problem, but nobody knows where it was spent… When a student fails in exams, the school doesn’t promote him to next class. But you have made Badal the Chief Minister five times, and that too when he failed on each occasion.” Before summing up his speech and moving to another rally, he warns of another conspiracy by his opponents: “They will field a number of Jarnail Singhs to confuse you. They had fielded two of my namesakes in the Delhi parliamentary elections too. I secured 4.75 lakh votes and they polled 91,000, a margin that led to my defeat. So, don’t get confused. Just choose the ‘jhaadu’ (AAP symbol) to sweep all this filth aside.” Frequently referring to the Gurbani verses in his speech, he rushes in his SUV to another village for another Badal-bashing, aware of the ground he has to cover to take on, and “defeat”, the Akali stalwart and the Punjab Chief Minister.