Captain questions Makens appointment to poll panel


DW BUREAU / chandigarh Former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Tuesday questioned the Congress over the appointment of Ajay Maken as the chief of its key panel for the state Assembly polls, alleging that the leader's uncle was involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. He also dubbed Maken as a "failed politician", saying under him the party lost two successive Assembly polls in Delhi. Maken, who is the Congress general secretary, was appointed the chairman of the screening committee for the shortlisting of candidate for the Punjab Assembly polls. "Maken is the nephew of Lalit Maken, who was one of the main culprits of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi. The Congress could not have nominated a worst person than Maken for the job," the former CM said in a statement. The CM said while the Centre is going ahead with the "prosecution of another culprit, Sajjan Kumar, the Congress is rewarding the Makens and that too in Punjab, thus rubbing salt into Punjabis' wounds". "The Congress Party should have avoided naming someone like Maken as the name itself draws derision and revulsion in Punjab for the involvement of his late uncle in the anti-Sikh riots where innocent victims were burnt alive to death," Amarinder Singh said. The former chief minister said Maken was not qualified enough to head the screening committee with veteran leaders like Ambika Soni and Sunil Jakhar being kept under him. He claimed Ajay Maken had presided over two successive defeats of the party in the Delhi Assembly elections, drawing back-to-back blank. "With someone who has presided over the virtual wiping out of the party in Delhi, now being handed over the job in Punjab, the fate of the party can be anybody's guess," he remarked. "After ensuring that the Congress got zero seats in two successive elections in Delhi in 2014 and 2019, he has now been dispatched to ensure that same feat is achieved in Punjab as well", Amarinder Singh said. The former CM said this clearly indicates that the party has admitted to defeat before the elections by appointing "a failed politician", who lost 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections, losing even his deposit in the Vidhan Sabha." Amarinder Singh was forced to resign as the Punjab chief minister amid a power tussle with state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. He floated his own party Punjab Lok Congress to fight the elections. Meanwhile, Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma on Tuesday targeted the AAP and the Congress for indulging in a "competition of making mere announcements" to woo voters ahead of the state assembly polls, due early next year. "A competition for giving guarantees is going on and these guarantees are being given by those who have not fulfilled it in their states," said Sharma while addressing the media here. "A competition of making mere announcements is going on," he further said. The situation of the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress is such that the teachers in Delhi and Punjab have been protesting against the governments led by these parties respectively for seeking regularisation of their jobs, he said. Referring to AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal's recent visit to Pathankot, Sharma said the Delhi CM promised to improve the condition of schools in Punjab. But Kejriwal has not revealed that many of the government schools in Delhi, of which he has been giving examples here, do not have principals, vice-principals and teachers, he said. How Kejriwal has been promising the protesting temporary teachers to regularise their jobs here if his government comes to power, he wondered. He also took on Kejriwal's promise to give Rs 1,000 per month to women, if his party is voted to power. Lashing out at the Charanjit Singh Channi-led government, the Punjab BJP chief said the Congress government had put up hoardings in the state claiming the slashing of sand rates and power tariffs. (


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