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05 May 2014 National Interview

‘Jaitley Is Out Of His Depth Here’

The issue is that Jaitley is lying to the proud Majha Punjabis, says the Congress candidate

Capt Amarinder Singh, ex-royal and former Punjab CM, is the Congress candidate from Amritsar.

Is Arun Jaitley’s being an “outsider” in Amritsar really an issue?

The issue isn’t that he’s an outsider. It is that Jaitley is lying to the proud Majha Punjabis. He should have been honest that his connections with Amritsar are tenuous. He’s a pseudo-Punjabi who will never connect with the Amritsaris.

This is an election for the Lok Sabha. Why turn on local identity issues?

This is an election revolving around the misrule of Punjab by the SAD-BJP alliance. They have run the economy into the ground and terrorised people by politicising the police. There’s strong anti-inc­umbency against the goonda-raj led by (Bikramjit) Majithia.

Your rhetoric is over the top?

Jaitley says I don’t use gentlemanly lan­g­u­age but this is an election in the strongest part of Punjab, not a convent girls’ debate. Frankly, he’s out of his depth here.

The BJP say their rule at the Centre, led by Modi, will strengthen the state here...

Six to eight months ago, the PM projection of Modi began, and ever since his image has taken a huge beating. Already, the Christian leaders are by my side, as are others. The Jaitley campaign is all about getting filmstars to draw crowds—it will never work.

But your image suffers too whenever you involve central Congress leaders?

No such thing. I brought Sonia Gandhi to the Golden Temple, where she apologised. And Rahul was only 11 in 1984.

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AUTHORS: Outlook
PLACES: AmritsarPunjab
SECTION: National
SUBSECTION: Interviews
OUTLOOK: 05 May, 2014
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