Promises freedom from Badal shackles amid complaints of money distribution, threats by Sukhbir’s aides
Lambi, February 3
Amid a surging wave of humanity that turned out across the length and breadth of Lambi to give him an effusive welcome, Punjab Congress president on Friday went door to door, and corner to corner, listening to the woes of the people in Parkash Singh Badal’s constituency and assuring them that their troubles and turmoils were now at an end, with the Congress all set to wrest the constituency from the Akali veteran.
As tens of hundreds of men, women and children came out of their houses to meet their `messiah’, as they see him to be, Captain Amarinder inched his way through the roads of Lambi, stopping every few minutes to speak to the villagers, who could not wait to catch their saviour’s glimpse, and grab his ear to share their problems.
With Congress flags fluttering all over the area, the poll verdict already seemed to be out, Captain Amarinder told mediapersons accompanying him on his visit to his constituency, where he has taken on Badal to teach him a “well-deserved lesson for life.” Lambi goes to poll on Saturday, along with the other 116 assembly constituencies in Punjab.
Assuring the villagers, many of whom were in tears as they spoke about their travails under the Akali regime, Captain Amarinder promised to bring their lost smiles back and punish all those, including the Badals and their `goondas’, who had wreaked havoc on their lives.
In Hakkuwal village, there were some tense moments as the local Congress leaders complained to Captain Amarinder of distribution of money by Vicky Middhukhera, cousin of Sukhbir Badal’s close aide, Tejinder Singh Middhukhera, on Thursday night. Vicky, who was caught in the act by the villagers, also threatened them with dire consequences if they did not vote for Badal. The villagers then called the local Congress leaders. Though Vicky and his goondas fled, the locals seized his car.
Tejinder himself was also caught red-handed on Thursday night while distributing money to the residents of Kakhanwali village and was let off only after he publicly apologized. The villagers reported the incident to Captain Amarinder, urging him to end the Akali fiefdom and break the shackles of their goondaism after taking over the reigns of the state.
Captain Amarinder assured the villagers in both the places that he would break the Akali fetters and would punish their `goondas’, including halqa in charges, immediately on coming to power. “I will not spare any of them. I will throw them all in jail,” promised the PPCC president to the villagers, who beseeched him to free them of the Akali horror, which they had been suffering for the past 10 years.
People could be seen rushing out of their homes on seeing Captain Amarinder’s car, which moved just 2-3 kms an hour as a result of the unprecedented crowds waiting to meet him. While men surged to grab his hand, comfortable in the assurance that the hand would be there to lead them out of pain and suffering, women could be seen moving confidently towards the PPCC president with the hope of securing their future and that of their children.
For the large population of Lambi’s youth, Captain Amarinder offered that ray of hope which they had been desperately looking for, and to which they opened their arms as the PPCC president put his arms around their shoulders, assuring them of a new beginning in life.
Captain Amarinder looked relaxed as he chatted with children, inquiring about their studies and their future plans, and urging them to ensure that the polling on Saturday goes off peacefully, without disruption.
With voting just a few hours away, Captain Amarinder exuded confidence of winning Lambi, as well as his hometown of Patiala, hands down. Clearly energized by the response of the villagers, the Congress chief ministerial candidate vowed to bring development and prosperity back to Punjab, whose overall decline under the Badal regime had touched shocking lows.