Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann should not be under anyone's remote control: Rahul Gandhi

Mann has been facing criticism from the opposition parties which allege that all major decisions of his government are being taken in Delhi by AAP national convener and CM Arvind Kejriwal

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann
Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann


In a swipe at Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said he should not be under anyone's remote control and should run the state independently.

Reacting sharply, Mann said he was made the chief minister by the public and reminded Gandhi of the "insult" inflicted on Amarinder Singh by the Congress by unceremoniously removing him from the post.

Addressing a gathering here during his Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gandhi said Punjab should be run from Punjab, and not from Delhi.

“I want to ask Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann that you are the chief minister of Punjab, Punjab should be run from Punjab only. Bhagwant Mann should not come under pressure of (Arvind) Kejriwal ji and Delhi.

“You should work independently and should not be under the remote control of anyone,” said Gandhi.

Chief Minister Mann should work independently and not be under anyone's remote control, he said, adding it is a matter of Punjab's respect.

He further said whenever the Congress ruled Punjab, the philosophy was the chief minister should run the state.

Mann has been facing criticism from the opposition parties which allege that all major decisions of his government are being taken in Delhi by AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Reacting to Gandhi's remarks, Mann said in a tweet in Punjabi, "I was made CM by the people of Punjab while (Charanjit Singh) Channi ji was (made CM) by Rahul Gandhi. You insulted and removed CM Captain (Amarinder Singh) Sahib in two minutes. The Congress president of Punjab (Amrinder Singh Raja Warring) was pushed during the yatra." On the yatra, Gandhi said it was getting an overwhelming response and targeted the BJP government at the Centre.

Hatred and fear are being spread in the country and "brother is being pitted against brother”, he alleged.

He also attacked the BJP government over the issue of unemployment and inflation. He again said that the yatra was opening the shops of love in the market of hatred.

"There is a spirit of 'tapasya' in the yatra. Not only me, lakhs of people walked in this yatra. What is the meaning of tapasya? We walked 3,000 km which is not a big thing. We get food and support on the way. But it was farmers, labourers, small shopkeepers, owners of medium enterprises and the youth who do tapasya," he said.

"When a 12th class student takes an exam, it is his tapasya. When a farmer sows seed, it is tapasya. When a labourer builds a building, it is tapasya. But, in the country, whosoever is doing tapasya was not getting any fruit of it. And those who are not doing any tapasya, they are getting full benefit," he said.

The debt of farmers is not waived but loans of lakhs of crores of rupees of two-three rich people are written off, he alleged and targeted the government.

Referring to the three now-repealed farm laws, Gandhi said farmers had protested against it and did not go back to their homes for more than a year.

"They did tapasya. Seven hundred people were martyred and I consider them as tapasvis. When I sought observance of two-minute silence in Parliament in their memory, it was not allowed. The government said no one got martyred," said Gandhi.

After one year of the protest, the prime minister admitted a mistake but he did not even speak to the protesting farmers.

"I can guarantee you that had the UPA government was in power and Manmohan Singh the prime minister, he would have spoken to the farmers himself,” Gandhi said.

He attacked the BJP government over the issues of farm laws, demonetisation and the "wrong" implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), and added "this government does not listen".

"This country is of 'tapasvis'. We want those who do 'tapasya' and give sweat and blood to be protected and be given reward for his tapasya," he said.

On inflation, he said it was hitting farmers and labourers the hardest and not the "arabpatis". "Therefore, we started this yatra against unemployment, inflation and hatred,” he said.

He reiterated that the yatra was opening the shops of love in the market of hatred.

Invoking the teachings of Sikh gurus, the Congress leader said Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Gobind Singh and Guru Teg Bahadur opened shops of love in the market of hatred. "Whatever they said is happening in the yatra. What did they say? Respect all religions, do not hate, fight against violence and connect people and it was said by the gurus," he said.

Gandhi further took on the BJP government over the issues of rising unemployment and inflation.

He said the party decided to undertake the yatra as it was not being allowed to raise issues concerning people.

"TV (media) shows Narendra Modi for 24 hours. Have you ever heard unemployment and inflation on TV (channels),” he asked the gathering.

He further said they were not allowed to speak on issues including the Agniveer scheme, China, GST and demonetisation in Parliament.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7, will conclude in Srinagar by January 30, with Gandhi hoisting the national flag in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

It has so far covered Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

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