Captain: No dynasty politics at play behind Rahul ‘s elevation as Congress prez, party fully behind him

NEW DELHI, Dec 4:  Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday rejected charges of `parivarvad’ behind Mr Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as All India Congress Committee president, saying the massive response he has evoked in recent months on various fora, including the ongoing election campaign in Gujarat, indicates his huge popular support base.
In an informal chat with the media after proposing Mr Rahul Gandhi’s candidature’s for the top Congress post, Captain Amarinder said the Congress vice-president had the support of the people, with 100% of the party workers favouring his elevation.
Terming the AICC election as the party’s internal business, the Chief Minister said even other like-minded parties had no problems with Rahul taking over the Congress reins.
To a question about Congress rebel Shehzad Poonawalla’s critical remarks on the issue of the AICC presidential election, Captain Amarinder questioned his locus standi and said that no one one in the party cares about what he says.
Calling for Mr Rahul Gandhi’s projection as the prime ministerial candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Captain Amarinder said the young Gandhi had generated massive enthusiasm in the party with his ability to connect with the youth.
He was very inquisitive by nature, had an eye for detail and was modern in his outlook – qualities that would stand the party in good stead if it projects Rahul as the next prime ministerial candidate, said the Punjab Chief Minister.
On the Gujarat assembly polls, Captain Amarinder asserted that the Congress was on the upswing there, with Mr Gandhi’s rallies meeting with massive response, in contrast to the campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Later, in an interview with a TV channel, the Chief Minister, while referring to the ensuing Municipal Corporation polls in Punjab, said all elections were a challenge, and in this case, the aspirations of the people were extremely high.
He pointed out that his Government was slowly implementing the various promises made to the people during the assembly elections, with farm debt waiver also set to commence this month.
On the Aam Aadmi Party,  he said it continued to be on a downslide, while the Akalis still remained in the bad books of the people and would lose again if elections were to be held today.
The Akalis had made a mess of everything, he said, adding that his Government was trying to set things right. The Chief Minister cited the examples of desecrations, which had shown a marked decline since the Congress government took over, and the drugs smugglers, whose backbone had been broken, with narcotics no longer easily available in the state.
Though the big drug mafia players had fled, the Special Task Force was on their trail, he added.  To a question on the drugs case against AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira, the Chief Minister dismissed him as an over-ambitious politician and an `erratic’ individual who was not worth commenting on.
He pointed out that the case against Khaira was registered in 2015, with no involvement of the Congress, and was now in court.   Captain Amarinder reaffirmed that the decision to hand over targeted killing cases to the National Investigation Agency was prompted by the fact that the central agency was better equipped to handle them, given their international ramifications.
Asked about the false cases registered during the Akali regime, the Chief Minister said action had already been initiated on the recommendations of the Justice Mehtab Singh Gill Commission. Politicians must realise they cannot use false cases to prosecute opponents, he said, adding that his Government will never permit it. (UNI)


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