Punjab Agriculture Minister Tota Singh is deep into campaigning as he is contesting from Dharamkot constituency in Moga district for the second time. Short statured with an all-white beard Tota Singh appears to be a father figure in politics. He speaks chaste Punjabi in Malwai accent, full of confidence, though rivals level a bundle of allegations against him. Matters are pending in courts but he exhibits daredevil spirit rubbishing all that is being arraigned against him. He believes that truth shall prevail. In a quick interview, he spoke to DailyPost Deputy Editor Rajinder S Taggar on Monday. Here are the excerpts:
How much sure are you about the victory of SAD-BJP alliance?
There is no other formidable alternative to the SAD-BJP alliance and we will win to form the next government under the leadership of Parkash Singh Badal.
How much does Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) worry you?
The graph of AAP is going down with each passing day. People have come to know about the mess they have created in Delhi. There are allegations of sale of tickets by AAP leaders.
But these allegations appear to be false?
Ans. What proof do you want to have for believing the version of candidates of AAP who had been changed because they could not cough up huge amounts of bribe?
The candidates who have been changed had a grudge against the AAP leadership.
Are you an advocate for AAP? What proof do you have to prove the allegations as false? They are all ruffians who have come from outside the state to create trouble in Punjab.
How many constituencies you expect to win?
It will be a clean sweep. We will get more than two-thirds majority comfortably.
What is your main plank in elections?
We are contesting the elections on the basis of development brought about by the SAD-BJP alliance government. Punjab is now an electricity surplus state, all roads have been freshly carpeted and now you see the amphibian buses moving in waterways.
You have been unable to discipline your cadre. See how an Akali ‘sarpanch’ and his sons stripped and thrashed a head constable in Virk Kalan village in Bathinda district.
All those who win panchayat elections start aligning with the ruling party. When did the SAD tell the ‘sarpanch’ to behave in the manner in which he did? He has been now arrested and law will take its own course. The party does not support indiscipline and hooliganism at all.
Opposition has levelled various charges against you and a court verdict has gone against you?
No matter what are the allegations, I will come out of the cases unscathed. The truth shall prevail.
Captain Amarinder is running a high-tech campaign by hiring a private agency and the SAD is banking on medieval methods of electioneering.
Our campaign is genuine. We visit people to listen to their grievances and try to provide solutions. No party has such deep roots as do the Akalis.
You are an old warhorse. Don’t you think youth should be allowed to come forward?
Youth is welcome. It is for the party to decide as to how many youngsters are to be fielded.
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