Published On: Mon, Jan 12th, 2015

Congress plans rally to counter Amit Shah’s anti-drug campaign

Amritsar (12th Jan) SNS : The Congress’s Punjab unit decided on Sunday decided to organise a rally in Amritsar on January 22 the day when BJP president Amit Shah is set to launch an anti-drugs rally in that city.

The announcement came during a major show of strength by Amarinder Singh, MP, on Sunday, when at least 200 leaders, including Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, Sunil Jakhar, 35 of the 44 MLAs, 50 former legislators, Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh and officer-bearers of the Pradesh Congress Committee resolved to work under his leadership to revive the party in the State and strengthen the hands of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

With the Amritsar rally, the Congress will launch a State-wide campaign against the Parkash Singh Badal government. The party would go all out to expose the “dual talk” by the BJP, which was supporting as well as opposing its alliance partner, the Akali Dal, the leaders said. It would mobilise public opinion against the Union government for promulgating an ordinance to dilute the “farmer-friendly” Land Acquisition Act. A series of rallies will be held at the Assembly constituency level, where Capt. Singh would address the people.

Observers feel that with Sunday’s luncheon meeting at his RoyalMotiPalace in Patiala, Capt. Singh has sent a signal to the party high command to resolve the factionalism and leadership issues in the State if they were serious to win the Assembly election due in 2017.

In his reaction, Capt Singh’s bête noir, party State unit president Partap Singh Bajwa welcomed the “belated initiative” to confront Mr. Shah in Amritsar by organising a counter rally. However, he asserted that the programme would be organised under the umbrella of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee and the modalities would be chalked out in consultation with the party high command after the Muktsar rally at the Maghi festival on January 14.

He expressed satisfaction over the endorsement by Capt. Singh to the Pradesh Congress Committee’s programme to confront Mr. Shah on various issues, including the BJP’s “double talk” on the drugs issue, forced conversions under the Ghar Vapsi campaign, alleged uprooting of Punjabi farmers from Gujarat and non-implementation of the one rank, one pension scheme for the armed forces.

He said the party would remind Mr. Shah that it was the Congress which had taken up the issue of growing drugs addiction and alleged involvement of Akali Dal Ministers in the peddling of narcotics, for which the party had demanded a CBI investigation.