A day after Charanjit Singh Channi was declared the Congress’ chief ministerial candidate for the Punjab Assembly polls, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday said a chief minister from whose frontman and nephew Rs 10 Crore in cash and gold and ill-gotten property papers of Rs 56 crore had been recovered by the Enforcement Directorate could not be called poor by any yardstick.
The SAD president was answering a query regarding Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s claim that Channi was a poor chief minister. He said it was clearly known that Channi, who had graduated from delineating illegal colonies to becoming a sand mafia kingpin, was worth more than Rs 500 Crore.
“If we are to use Rahul Gandhi’s yardstick to measure Channi’s wealth then even the Gandhi family is very poor,” he added.
Asserting that chief minister Charanjit Channi had not only betrayed Punjabis but even the scheduled caste community as well as weaker sections of society, Badal asked Channi to explain why he had never raised his voice in favour of the scheduled caste community and weaker sections.
He said it was a fact that Channi was a cabinet minister for nearly five years before becoming the chief minister.
“However he did not raise his voice to protect the interest of 4.5 lakh scheduled caste students who were not only denied SC scholarship but whose scholarship was embezzled by his cabinet colleague Sadhu Singh Dharamsot,” Badal said.
The SAD chief said similarly Channi did not object to the scrapping of lakhs of blue cards which entitled weaker sections to subsidised ration. He said no amount of announcements of the chief ministerial face could save the Congress party.
“The Congress party’s ship is sinking by the day in Punjab,” he added. When queried, Badal said Pradesh Congress Navjot Sidhu had maintained that he would not work as a showpiece horse but now Rahul Gandhi had not only tied the horse but also locked it in the stable.