Punjab Lok Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said only the PLC-BJP alliance can ensure the security of the sensitive border state.
"The state's and country's safety is of paramount importance, which only the PLC alliance, with the support of the BJP-led government at the Centre, could ensure," he said.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be coming to Punjab soon to campaign for the PLC-BJP-SAD Sanyukt coalition. The former chief minister said the alliance had been crafted in the interest of Punjab and the country.
Singh expressed anger over Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu’s hugging the Pakistan army chief, who, he said, was ordering his soldiers every day to kill Indians. “The state's governance could not be handed over to people who were willing to compromise national security to further their personal and political ambitions."
“Who do you hate more, the soldiers who fire or the one who gives the order?” Singh asked at a public rally at Ramlila Maidan in Patiala. “We want peace with Pakistan but will not bow to them. We are prepared to fight, our army is ready to take them head on,” Amarinder, an ex-Army man, asserted.
While there was no conflict between the people of the two countries, the hostile regime in Pakistan posed a serious danger which could not be undermined, he said, as per a statement.
He pointed out that since March 2017, as many as 83 Punjabi soldiers had been killed by Pakistan on the border, and the government he headed earlier had given compensation of Rs 50 lakh and a job to the kin of each deceased soldier.
The state, with its economy in total shambles, was at a crossroads and needed the Centre's support to go ahead, he said, adding that Punjab was reeling under debt. For Punjab's survival, it is necessary that the state and the Centre work together, said Singh.
He added that he personally has had cordial relations with Modi since the time the latter was the chief minister of Gujarat. The PLC chief unveiled his ambitious plans for the development and security of the state, which he said the Congress had scuttled by the sudden and uncalled for change at the helm of the government less than six months before the Assembly polls.
He pointed out that various development projects he had launched in the Patiala region had been stalled by the Channi government. Singh said though he had ensured 22 lakh new jobs and investment worth Rs 1 lakh crore on the ground during his tenure, much more was needed to be done to ensure the state's progress.
“I want to ensure that Punjab's children do not go abroad for higher education and jobs,” he added. Sanjeev Sharma Bittu, the PLC candidate from Patiala Rural, said that a "double engine" regime will transform both Patiala and Punjab. "For 10 years under the Akali regime, Patiala had received step motherly treatment," he alleged.
With inputs from PTI.