Chandigarh: Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Saturday challenged Arvind Kejriwal and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to an “open, public debate” on any issue relevant to the upcoming state Assembly election.After welcoming more than 300 AAP supporters and a Youth Akali Dal leader from Malwa into his party here, Amarinder, at a press meet, accused AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal of being an “escapist” and “trying to run away from a debate on one pretext or the other”.”As a chief ministerial aspirant, he should have the guts to face me directly, instead of putting others in the front,” he said.The Congress leader dismissed the AAP supremo’s claims that he did not want to become the chief minister of Punjab saying, “It has become quite evident that his (Kejriwal’s) eyes are set on the top position in Punjab. He is simply trying to mislead the people by claiming otherwise.”
Replying to a query on Kejriwal’s charge of a “Congress-BJP nexus” in the run-up to the Punjab polls due early next year, Amarinder said he had been “running around the courts for 10 years under the Badal regime”. “Does that indicate a nexus,” he asked, asserting that he will “not spare” the chief minister if the Congress formed the next government in the state. “We have done it earlier. We will put Badal in his place once again,” he quipped.
Replying to another query on air pollution in Delhi resulting from stubble burning in Punjab, Amarinder said the only solution is to implement the recommendations of MS Swaminathan Committee report.
“Most of the farmers in the state are small-scale. They resort to stubble burning to boost their income, he said, adding that once their income goes up, the problem will automatically disappear”.
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