Amarinder seeks Congress permission to contest against Badal

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 14, 2017 16:00 hrs

Amritsar, Jan 14 (IANS) Giving an interesting turn to Punjab's politics, state Congress president Amarinder Singh has sought the Congress high command's permission to fight next month's assembly elections against Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal patron Parkash Singh Badal from the latter's assembly constituency of Lambi.

Amarinder, whose name has already been announced by the Congress for his traditional assembly seat of Patiala-urban, told media here that he wanted to contest against Chief Minister Badal from Lambi to defeat the Akali leader whom he blamed for the "ruin of Punjab".

"I want to fight the Chief Minister on his home turf of Lambi as I want to defeat all the top Akali leaders responsible for destroying the state through their drugs, mafia and goonda raj, and are guilty of ruining its trade, industry and agriculture," Amarinder told media here on Saturday.

Amarinder said he had requested the Congress high command to allow him to fight the assembly polls from Lambi so that he could "free Punjab from the vicious and destructive rule of the Badals".

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is posing a serious challenge to the Akali Dal-BJP alliance and the Congress for the February 4 assembly polls on 117 seats, has already announced Delhi lawmaker Jarnail Singh to contest against Badal from Lambi.

Amarinder said he would fight the election both in Lambi and Patiala, if permitted by the Congress high command.

"The entire state is in shambles. Badal and his family and associates have brought Punjab to such a shameful pass," the former Chief Minister said.

"My government would open a probe into all Akali scams and punish every person found guilty of any criminal deed, especially drugs trade," Amarinder said.

The Akali Dal-BJP alliance has been in power in Punjab since 2007.

--IANS

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