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Punjab: Kejriwal praises Sidhu for taking on Channi, says Congress trying to suppress him

Arvind Kejriwal on his two-day visit to Punjab claimed that at least “25 Congress MLAs and 2-3 MPs” were ready to switch to AAP, but the party was not ready to accept their “kachra (garbage)”.

On second day of his latest Punjab tour, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday played on the never-ending infighting in the ruling Congress as he praised PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu for openly taking on CM Charanjit Channi and exposing his “false claims”.

While he stayed non-committal on the party’s CM face for Punjab, Kejriwal claimed that at least “25 Congress MLAs and 2-3 MPs” were ready to switch to AAP, but the party was not ready to accept their “kachra (garbage)”.

Answering a question why APP MLAs were quitting party to join Congress, Kejriwal said, “Many Congress MLAs are also in touch with us but we don’t want to take their kachra (garbage). If we start taking in their kachra, we will have their 25 MLAs and two or three MPs in our party. But this is dirty politics. We won’t do it.”

In an apparent bid to get rid of the outsider tag, the Delhi CM underlined that he can “read Punjabi”, and people can write to him in the language to highlight their issues. He wrapped up his visit to the holy city by urging people in Punjabi to give him one chance — “Ik mauka Kejriwal nu vi de ke dekho”.

Praising Sidhu, Kejriwal said: “I commend the courage of Navjot Singh Sidhu. He is exposing the government. Channi is making false claims and Sidhu is saying that all these claims are lies. Sidhu is raising issues of the public. But the entire Congress is trying to suppress him. Earlier, Capt Amarinder Singh was trying to suppress him and now Channi is doing the same to Sidhu.”

Kejriwal pointed out that the Punjab Congress president had “corrected” the CM when the latter claimed that sand was being sold to the public at Rs 5 per cubic feet.

“Sidhu told the chief minister that it was still being sold at Rs 20 per cubic feet,” he added.

ATTACKS CHANNI

Kejriwal said CM Channi was busy trying to paint himself as the “real aam aadmi”.

“CM Channi says that he is the real aam aadmi because I don’t know how to milk a cow. But I know how to make good schools, mohalla clinics, hospitals and provide free power. I really don’t know how to carry ten cameras around and make false announcements,” said Kejriwal.

He added, “Whatever promises I make after coming from Delhi to Punjab, CM Channi makes the same promises after two or three days. During my earlier meeting, I told traders that I had come to make them partner in Punjab’s development and Channi copied the same slogan.”

About SAD promising Rs 2,000 for BPL women, he said: “Public will decided if it believes in the guarantee of Kejriwal or Akalis.”

“If we form the government then we will first get it investigated that who looted Punjab’s coffer,” he said.

ON CM FACE

Asked about party’s CM face, Kejriwal repeated, “I have said it in past too that Kejriwal is not CM candidate.”

During his pervious visit to Amritsar, Kejriwal had said that party’s CM face would be a Sikh face.

This time Kejriwal was explained why there was still no announcement in this regard.

He said, “There are two possibilities that CM candidate is either declared or not. When a party decides that they would declare the CM candidate then it is done when election is very near or after the code of conduct is in force. In Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand, or Uttar Pardesh, no party has announced a CM candidate. I assure you that we will be the first to announce CM candidate in Punjab.”

Meanwhile, there were a few supporters of senior leader Bhagwant Mann who raised slogans in Mann’s favour.

8 GUARANTEES TO TEACHERS, 7 TO TRADERS

In two separate events in the city, Kejriwal also gave ‘guarantees’ to the teachers and traders in order to woo them.

The 8 guarantees to teachers were on comprehensive education reforms in Punjab and the Delhi CM promised that these 8 guarantees would be implemented on priority basis.

The eight guarantees include creating a Delhi-like environment in the education sector in Punjab, regularising outsourcing and contractual teachers, implementing a transparent transfer policy, banning non-teaching work by teachers, permanent recruitment on vacant posts, sending teachers abroad for training, bringing in a transparent policy for new promotions and providing cashless medical facilities for teachers and their family members.

AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, party’s Punjab Affairs in-charge Jarnail Singh and co-in-charge Raghav Chadha were also present on the occasion.

Similarly Kejriwal announced seven guarantees for trade, commerce and industrial development. These guarantees include setting up of a commission, abolishing ‘inspector raj’, fixing VAT refunds, ensuring regular power supply, setting up of Punjab Bazaar portal, and also improving law and order along with development of focal points.

Kejriwal held a meeting with traders, businessmen and industrialists as part of AAP’s ‘Kejriwal Di Galbaat’ programme.

‘CAN READ PUNJABI’

Kejriwal also told his audience that he can read Punjabi. He told traders, “I can read Punjabi. If you will write in Punjabi then I can read it. It is my fourth meeting with the traders. I am coming from Delhi and spending so many hours to listen traders because we are serious about traders.”

“Punjab’s people love me…I am blessed that I have always got love and trust of Punjab’s public. So when I give guarantee then it means public trust me and say, han eh banda puri karega gurantee (yes, this man will fulfil the guarantee),” he said.

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