Aam Aadmi Party’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal launched his party’s campaign for the 2017 Punjab elections at the Maghi Mela here Thursday with a scathing attack on the ruling SAD and the Badals. Emphasising that the father-son duo of Parkash and Sukhbir Badal has brought the state on the verge of ruin, he announced that the AAP will set up a judicial commission to look into their misdeeds if voted to power. Raising the drugs issue, Kejriwal asked the cheering crowds who was responsible for the menace. The crowd took Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia’s name, to which the Delhi CM said that people in the entire state knows that Majithia is to be blamed for the high rate of drug addiction in the state. “Yet, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has not sacked him from his Cabinet. You all vow on this pious land to defeat the Badals (and) I promise to put Majithia behind bars,” he said.
Taking the fight to the Congress, Kejriwal alleged that Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh has links with Majithia and if the Congress is voted to power he, too, will turn a blind eye to the drug menace, as Amarinder was opposed to his party’s demand for a CBI inquiry against Majithia.
Sporting a bright yellow turban, Kejriwal began his address with ‘Jo Bole So Nihal’. Addressing the predominantly rural crowd, Kejriwal said he will not let a single farmer commit suicide. “Farmers in Delhi were given a compensation of Rs 50,000 per hectare when they lost their crop. I did not let a single farmer commit suicide. Here, farmers are killing themselves as they are not compensated,” he said. He also said he would check corruption by sacking those seeking bribes — “Even if my son indulges in corruption, I will throw him out.” About the recent incident of desecration, Kejriwal said, “I was hurt at the sacrilege. I vow to bring them (perpetrators) to book. I will order an SIT in the case.” He also announced an SIT to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and called it a genocide. “For 30 years, governments have not been able to provide justice to Sikhs. When we came to power in Delhi, we paid the victims Rs 5 lakh each besides constituting an SIT,” he said. Saying the CM has failed to set up a hospital for cancer and a train takes patients to Bikaner for treatment, Kejriwal said he will set up a cancer hospital and mohalla dispensaries, as has been done in Delhi. His promises include a grant of Rs 1 crore each to families of Pathankot attack martyrs.