Union finance minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the current political situation in Punjab was favourable for the ruling Akali Dal-BJP alliance in the state as the opposition parties were in disarray.
Talking to reporters here on Sunday, Jaitley said the BJP would contest the assembly polls under the current arrangement with the Akali Dal. The SAD-BJP government has successfully completed nine-and-half years of rule in the state and there are many achievements to its credit, which are visible on the ground, he added.
“The performance of the Narendra Modi-led Union government in its over two-year rule has been outstanding. The SAD-BJP combine will contest the Punjab polls on the basis of the performance and achievements of both the Modi government and the Parkash Singh Badal government,” he said.
On allegations levelled by the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) against him for shielding Akali leaders in an alleged drug case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, Jaitley said: “These allegations are baseless. The probe into tge drug case is being monitored by the Punjab and Haryana high court.” Taking a dig at the Aam Aadmi Party, Jaitley said: “Delhi is being ruled by the worst set of people — Arvind Kejriwal and his team. It is the worst government ever.”
“But the people here won’t let such people rule Punjab,” he added. Asked to comment on former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Awaaz-e-Punjab front, Jaitley said: “I don’t think there is any need to comment on Sidhu. He has chosen his path and I wish him good luck.”
When asked if Sidhu’s quitting the party was a loss to the BJP, the Union minister said: “He has his influence in some pockets where the BJP is already strong.”
‘Will punish those behind Uri attack’
Condemning Sunday’s terror attack on an army camp in Uri, Jaitley said the perpetrators will be punished. Blaming Pakistan, he said India will intensify diplomatic efforts to isolate it. He said the attack on Pathankot airbase and now in Uri indicated that that anti-India forces across the border had again adopted the policy of ‘fedayeen’ assaults to disturb peace in India. “In recent years, there has been an increasing reliance on activities like stone-throwing agitations, which were instigated from across the border. Terror attacks have nothing to do with the complexion of the governments in power at the Centre,” he said.