Amarinder Singh’s failure in this religiously sensitive case is expected to harm Congress in the 2022 Punjab Assembly election. But this is not his only failure.
By Rakesh Raman
A senior Congress leader in Punjab Navjot Singh Sidhu has launched an aggressive campaign against his colleague and Punjab chief minister (CM) Amarinder Singh.
The Twitter onslaught – which amounts to an open rebellion – started by Sidhu during the past few days pertains to the Kotkapura firing incident, in which Sidhu demands action against a former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal who had allegedly ordered firing on innocent people.
Termed as the Bargari sacrilege case in which the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib (the religious scripture of Sikhs) took place on October 12, 2015, a firing was ordered on Sikh protesters in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan leading to the death of two Sikh youth.
Although Amarinder Singh had claimed before the 2017 Punjab Assembly election that Badal was responsible for the death of protesters and he will get him punished, he failed to fulfill his promise after winning the election.
Most people believe that Badal and Amarinder Singh are hand in glove with each other and the latter is complicit in the Bargari criminal case. The Punjab Government had ostensibly formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the cases of police firing at people who had been protesting against the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib.
However, recently the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed the findings of the SIT probe done by a Punjab Police team. Sidhu and a slew of other Punjab leaders believe that the CM office colluded with the court to get the probe discarded so that Badal could be saved surreptitiously.
Sidhu openly blamed Amarinder Singh for the court order. “People of Punjab did not elect the High Court Judge. Blaming the verdict for what is a failure of the Executive Authority will not be accepted,” Sidhu tweeted on May 1 in his loose and broken English.
Most Indian politicians, bureaucrats, and judges lack language and communication skills and find it extremely difficult to communicate in English language.
In order to save his own skin, Amarinder Singh now says that he cannot interfere in the work of SIT, which has submitted its findings that failed to accuse Badal.
Amarinder Singh’s failure in this religiously sensitive case is expected to harm Congress in the 2022 Punjab Assembly election. But this is not his only failure. As Punjab CM, Amarinder Singh failed to fulfill almost all his election promises during the past over 4 years of his rule in the state.
People of Punjab did not elect the High Court Judge, Blaming the Verdict for what is failure of Executive Authority will not be accepted. My Stand Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow – Justice for Punjab’s Soul … Letter to Jathedar Akal Takht Sahib for Ex-Communication of Badals (2018) pic.twitter.com/ibOlJzfm4M
— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) May 1, 2021
Under Amarinder Singh, the unemployment in the state has increased manifold while corruption, drug addiction, economic downturn are among the other irritants that will affect Congress in the upcoming election.
Moreover, hundreds of thousands of Punjab farmers who are protesting against the new farm laws introduced by the Indian government hold Amarinder Singh responsible for their sorry plight, as he failed to protect the state’s interests.
While Punjab is already facing a huge financial crunch, the crisis is set to worsen with the public debt likely to reach Rs. 3.73 lakh crore by 2024-25, according to the latest report of the Comptroller & Auditor General of India.
In order to hide his failures before the election, recently Amarinder Singh has appointed an external consultant who is supposed to spread falsehood and create hype in his favor so that he could win the election next year.
But it will be an uphill task for Amarinder Singh to win again. Besides Congress, the other political outfits in the fray are Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of PM Narendra Modi, and Badal’s Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
There is a possibility that a new regional political party will emerge to contest the Punjab election next year.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
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