How can a Prime Minister utter such lies, wonders Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh

Angered by the Prime Minister’s ‘lies’ in his speech at the Gurdaspur rally on Thursday, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh doesn’t mince his words in saying what he thinks of PM Narendra Modi

How can a Prime Minister utter such lies, wonders Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh

Mala Jay

Never cross the Captain’s path or you’ll come to grief. Sikh Regiment veterans used to say this about Amarinder Singh back in the days of the 1965 war with Pakistan. Though generally soft-spoken and easy-going, he knows how to roar like a lion when somebody crosses the line.

This is what happened on Friday. The Punjab Chief Minister came down like a ton of bricks on Narendra Modi. “Master of deceit and disinformation” and “Jumlebaaz” were some of the strong expressions he used to refer to the Prime Minister.

The provocation was the speech delivered by Modi at a political rally in Gurdaspur the previous day, a speech full of outright distortions and downright lies. The Captain was unsparing in his condemnation and minced no words in nailing the Prime Minister’s untruths.

Lied on every issue

Narendra Modi had lied on every issue, said Amarinder - from the 1984 riots and farm loan waiver to the Kartarpur corridor and to the war against drugs. The Chief Minister said every single statement made by Modi in Gurdaspur was a distortion of true facts. The Prime Minister was stooping to detestably low levels in a bid to mislead the people by trying to defame the Congress and taking credit for himself with utterly false claims.

Amarinder challenged the Prime Minister on the Kartarpur Corridor issue. “You have not given even a single paisa till now for the celebration of the 550th Parkash Purab of Guru Nanak despite our repeated pleas and requests, and yet claim to be the guardians of the Sikhs and their religion”.

He charged Modi for “trying to steal credit” for the Kartarpur corridor, when it was well-known that it was the Congress that had been pursuing the matter actively for years. He himself had taken up the issue with Pakistan on several occasions. Can you cite a single thing you have done from your side to get the project going, he asked.

He took strong objection to the Prime Minister for leveling vile allegations to denigrate the Congress party and its leaders by saying at the Gurdaspur rally: Jo aaj bhi dango ke aaropiyon ko mukhyamantri pad ka puruskar de rahe hain, un logon se Punjab samet deshvasiyon ko satark rehne ki zarurat hai.

He reminded the Prime Minister that the people of Punjab had only two days ago given the Congress party an over-whelming victory in the Panchayat elections in which there was 80 per cent turnout of voters and the BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal had been decimated.

On farm debt, Amarinder referred to the Prime Minister’s false claim that no farmers have benefitted from loan waiver and said : "Here is the list of 4,14,285 farmers whose loans have been waived by the Punjab government. How can a Prime Minister utter such lies?” The Prime Minister had urged the people not to trust the Congress - Jaise Congress ne desh ko 'gharibi hatao' ke naare ke saath thaga, vo ab desh ko karz maafi ke naam par thag rahi hai.

PM’s false allegations

Regarding the 1984 riots, the Prime Minister had said: “Ek parivaar ke ishaare par jin jin aaropiyon ko 'sajjan' batakar file daba di gayi, BJP sarkar ne unko bahar nikala, SIT ka gathan kiya aur parinaam sabke saamne hai”.

Amarinder Singh wondered why Modi had made no mention about the BJP and RSS workers named in the Tilak Marg Police Station FIR related to the worst violence perpetrated against the Sikhs? And how a sitting Prime Minister can publicly level false allegations against the Gandhi family without any evidence and even though no fingers had been pointed at them?

“And what about the 1992 riots in Gujarat which happened right under your nose and in which your own party members were squarely blamed and named,” Amarinder asked of Modi, demanding to know why the Prime Minister continued to keep totally silent on the genocide that took place under his watch when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Deriding the Prime Minister as a “master of deceit and disinformation”, the Punjab Chief Minister challenged Modi to give even one instance of a promise kept by his government in the past five years.

The Prime Minister, he said, was talking utter nonsense – just to hide the failure of his own government at the Centre on all fronts. The Congress government in Punjab, he asserted, had fulfilled more promises in 21 months than the Modi government at the Centre had done in five years.

Amarinder labeled Narendra Modi as a ‘jumlebaaz’ Prime Minister and said he had brought the whole nation to its nadir with his “deceptions and fabrications”. Modi, he added, was staring desperately at the day of judgment at the hands of the people, who would throw him out of power for good.

At 76, Capt. Amarinder Singh may be the oldest sitting Chief Minister in the country, and be generally regarded as soft-spoken and cultured, but the old soldier has clearly not lost his fire.

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