Newly appointed Punjab Congress president Sunil Kumar Jakhar on Wednesday did not mince words when he vent his ire on the state’s police administration, saying they were “still dyed in Akali’s blue colour.”
Speaking after taking the baton of party president from CM Captain Amarinder Singh, Jakhar warned the police to shed “Akali thinking” and toe the party line otherwise “ungli tedhi karni humein bhi ati hai (we also know how to set the things straight.)”
Jakhar also raised the issue of resentment among the party legislators, who have been complaining about “absolute power” to the executive to run the government and “ignoring” the political representatives.
Asked when the government would waive off loans and give jobs to the unemployed, Jakhar said, “People have already started asking. It is time to redeem our pledge. We have a long battle ahead. We should fulfil the promises, although it is not even two months since we formed the government.”
Referring to Amarinder Singh’s leadership, he said it was apparent that things were moving. “The first procurement of the government was smooth. Ehsaas hi no hoya ke procurement ho gayi.”
He said nobody suspected Amarinder’s intent. “Tuhadi intent utte kisse nu koi shaq nahi. Chaar hafte vich nashe di kamar tod ditti.” Amarinder, while speaking on the occasion, said, “The government is secondary. The organisation comes first. Whatever you will direct us to do, we will do.”
He said the government had to clean up the “garbage” produced by 10 years of Akali “misrule.” “Civic bodies are in bad shape. We will make sure we take care of a lot of things in the budget,” he said.
At the function, Jakhar and Chairman of Punjab Mandi Board Lal Singh heaped copious praise on Amarinder.
Jakhar virtually credited the CM for making him a politician. “I first became an MLA when Captain sahib took over as Chief Minister in 2002. Then he recommended my name to be made a CLP leader in 2012. And now, he has recommended my name for the post of PCC chief,” he said.
Jakhar called himself a “nikhattu (good for nothing)”, whom Amarinder had helped becoming the party president. “Words fail me to thank him.”
Lal Singh called Amarinder a “chamatkari” (capable of miracles) leader, saying the party had never won 77 seats in Punjab. “Even during BJP wave in the country, he won Punjab.”
Bajwa absent
Former Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa and Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi were conspicuous by their absence at the ceremony. Congress’s general secretary in-charge of Punjab Asha Kumar and AICC secretary Harish Choudhary were present. Both have a history with Jakhar, who as CLP leader had not only revolted against Bajwa when the latter was the PPCC chief, but had also made the MLAs rally behind Amarinder. Channi had succeeded Jakhar, who was removed from the post.
Amarinder skips press meet
Amarinder, who has not addressed the media even once after taking over as CM, was expected to do so today, but it was not to be. Amarinder’s aides said the press conference would be held in media room. The CM, however, never went to the media room and left the Congress Bhawan, leaving Jakhar to face the mediapersons.
Municipal polls in June
Amarinder hinted that civic body elections in Punjab would be held on June 26. “We will have to hold the budget session before June 26 as you will have MC elections then.”