Sukhbir challenges Amarinder to contest from Lambi seat only

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Ludhiana, Jan 15 (PTI) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today challenged Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh to contest from Lambi seat only against his father and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and claimed he will meet his “nemesis” in the constituency.

“Why is he (Amarinder) keeping Patiala (urban) seat as a stopgap? This proves that he knows he can never win from Lambi and is only contesting the seat to project himself as the chief ministerial candidate of the party at a time when the Congress has not declared its CM candidate,” he said.

Sukhbir claimed Amarinder, along with AAP leader Bhagwant Mann would meet their “nemesis” in Lambi and Jalalabad seats respectively and that both he and Badal would never leave their constituencies to contest from any other seat.

He was talking to reporters at Payal, 30 KM from here, after addressing a public gathering.

Sukhbir said the SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress were engaged in a direct contest in both Majha and Doaba regions with AAP not having “any presence” in both these regions.

He said the AAP has presence in Malwa and that even in this region it was putting up a meaningful contest in 21 seats only.

“This means there is a triangular contest in only 21 out of the 117 seats in Punjab with all other seats witnessing a two-way contest between the SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress,” he said.

About Jagraon and neighbouring areas, the SAD president said the Congress did not even have candidates in majority of seats.

The Congress candidate from Jagraon was a resident of Fatehgarh Sahib and even Congressmen were googling his name to find out his antecedents, he said.

Similarly, the Congress candidate from Ropar was a resident of Chandigarh and there was a widespread revolt against him in the constituency, Sukhbir claimed.

He claimed the people are happy with the development by SAD and have made up their mind to endorse the party once again.

They realise the tremendous progress made in Punjab and also the fact that if the Congress or the ‘topiwalas’ (referring to AAP) come to power, the state will be destroyed, he said.

The SAD president said Arvind Kejriwal was playing a “dangerous game in Punjab by courting radical elements”.

AAP was inciting violence in the state and this would take Punjab back to turbulent times if allowed to succeed, he said.