Jalandhar: Describing the Centralgovernment’s performance since coming to power in 2014 as “very good”, Union minister Arun Jaitley today said the SAD-BJP alliance will contest the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls “on the basis of performance and achievements of both the Narendra Modi and the Parkash Singh Badal-led governments”.
“The Centre’s performance during its over-two-years rule has been very good. An honest government has been doing its job. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoys a tall image.
“Therefore, the SAD-BJP combine will fight the Punjab polls on the basis of the performance and achievements of both the governments (Centre and Punjab),” he told reporters here.
Asked to comment on former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu floating the ‘Awaaz-e-Punjab’ front, Jaitley said, “What that forum does is still to be seen. So far, you only have an announcement of a forum. You are yet to see any of its activities.”
Prodded further on the ‘fourth front’, he said, “I do not think there is any need to comment on this. He (Sidhu) has chosen his path, good luck to him. When someone chalks out his own course, it is a conscious decision. The party (BJP) is very strong in its pockets of influence.” Asked why the party was not taking any action against Amritsar East MLA and Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur, who continues to be critical of (BJP’s alliance partner) the Akalis in Punjab, Jaitley said, “She has to decide her own line of action which now seems quite obvious. This is a transitional phase. She will decide what course she has to follow.” To another question on why the party had not taken any action against the Sidhu couple, he replied, “Why should we? He (Sidhu) has left the party and formed his own front.” The Union Finance Minister rubbished allegations that “political persons” were being shielded in the multi-crore drug racket issue in Punjab as “baseless”.
Asked about Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s recent remarks in the context of ‘achhe din’, he said, “I am of the belief that the country’s situation is much better on every front than what was witnessed during the previous Congress rule. Our economic situation is better, governance is better and because of this, Modi and the government have been popular.” Jaitley was in Jalandhar to take part in a BJP meeting to take stock of the situation ahead of the 2017 Punjab polls.
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