Chandigarh, March 31 IANS | 8 months ago

Terming his BJP rival Arun Jaitley in the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat a "political mercenary", former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh Monday questioned the former's "sheepish silence" about the plight of Punjabi farmers in Gujarat who were being evicted from their land by the state government.

"In election time we often come across a number of political mercenaries. Their sole aim is to contest the elections, irrespective of their commitments whether these are towards the party they belong to or the region they claim to represent.

"My esteemed rival Mr. Arun Jaitley was born and brought up in Delhi, where he has a well settled lucrative legal practice. But he has been consecutively elected to the Rajya Sabha during the last three terms in 2000, 2006 and 2012 from Gujarat.

"And now he has been made to contest, rather more by the Akalis who wanted to get rid of (Navjot Singh) Sidhu than the BJP, from the holy city of Amritsar," Amarinder said.

He said that Jaitley, who has been a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat for the last 14 years, had not raised the issue of the plight of Punjabi farmers being uprooted in Gujarat by the Narendra Modi government there.

"Ideally, as he has been claiming himself to be a Punjabi, he should have raised the Punjabi farmers' issue with the Gujarat government long back as he enjoyed a privileged position there. I honestly don't expect him to know about such an issue since he is not even remotely concerned with it," Amarinder said.

He said that Punjabi farmers in Gujarat were being targeted and forcibly evicted from the land they cultivated and turned fertile with their blood and sweat during the last 50 years.

Criticizing Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for not helping the Punjabi farmers, Amarinder said that this showed the double face of the Akali Dal which claims to represent farmers.

(Posted on 31-03-2014)

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