Ferozepur (Pb), Jan 27 – Hours after Rahul Gandhi announced Amarinder Singh as the Congress’s chief ministerial face in Punjab, the party’s state unit chief challenged Arvind Kejriwal to name AAP’s CM candidate to prove it is sincere about the welfare of the people in the state. Addressing public rallies in Ferozepur Rural and Guru Har Sahai, Amarinder also questioned the credibility of Aam Aadmi Party to govern a state for which it is a “complete outsider”. He flayed Kejriwal’s “continued attempts to make a back-door entry to grab the chief ministerial post in Punjab without contesting the polls.” Pointing out that all other major political parties in the fray has named their chief ministerial faces, Amarinder said there was enough evidence to indicate that Kejriwal himself was eying the top post in the state “despite his total disconnect with Punjab’s people and their concerns”. Setting at rest speculation, Rahul Gandhi today addressing a poll meeting at Majitha in Amritsar district, announced that Amarinder Singh will be the party’s chief ministerial face in the high-stakes Assembly polls. Despite being asked to name the party’s chief ministerial candidate and clarify stand on vital issues such as SYL, he said, “Kejriwal continues to maintain a stoic silence, clearly indicated a nefarious design on his part.” “Kejriwal’s adamant refusal to name a Punjabi chief ministerial candidate and to clarify on the AAP candidate for deputy CM’s post suggests that he is interested in taking over the coveted post, as was in fact publicly mentioned by his own party leader recently,” Amarinder said. The PPCC chief claimed that Kejriwal was furthering his personal interests at the cost of the Punjab’s people, “who cannot not afford to experiment with outsiders at a critical juncture when the state needed an experienced leadership with roots in Punjab and an understanding of its problems.” “AAP’s total disconnect with Punjab is evident from the fact that it is bringing in thousands of people from other states to steer its electioneering,” Amarinder said. He further said Kejriwal himself as a Haryanvi could not be expected to stand by Punjab on issues of SYL, Chandigarh and Punjabi language, which had been simmering between Haryana and Punjab for decades.

(Amarinder proceeding to a hat trick of defeats) 
(Rahul announcement good omen. Helped us last time too) 
Chandigarh, January 27 – Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today welcomed Rahul Gandhi’s announcement making Amarinder Singh the chief ministerial candidate, saying the Congress party’s decision to repose faith in a twice defeated and failed CM as proposed leader was good news for the SAD- BJP combine.
“Rahul’s announcement of Amarinder as CM candidate is a good omen. It helped us last time too. Our battle is all but won. Forget Punjabis, even Congressmen are fed up with Amarinder’s arrogant ways. The entire senior leadership be it Manpreet Badal, Navjot Sidhu, Partap Bajwa or Bibi Bhattal, no one wants him to become CM. Now they will unite as one to keep him away from the CM’s chair. Our work will be done by them”.
In a statement here, Mr Badal said “Rahul has chosen a lame horse who has already failed twice earlier. This time Amarinder will not only make it a hat trick of defeats but will also take down the party with him. It is a known fact that wherever the Congress loses thrice in a row it ceases to exist as a political entity. This is going to happen in Punjab now”.
The SAD president said Rahul Gandhi was living in a fool’s paradise if he thought announcing Amarinder as chief ministerial candidate would help the party. “Punjabis have not forgotten the wounds inflicted by your family on them. Your grand mother ordered tanks and artillery into the Darbar Sahab. Your father instigated Congressmen and lumpen elements to massacre Sikhs in 1984. How can Punjabis ever repose faith in you and your choices”.
Mr Badal asked Punjabis to evaluate Amarinder’s performance before taking any decision on whom to give their mandate. “This is a person who has never visited a single ward of Patiala despite having represented it for years. Amarinder never visited Amritsar despite being elected as an MP from the holy city. He never attended parliament. He has always been missing from the State. How can you ever repose faith in such a person?”
Speaking about Amarinder’s performance as CM, he said the Congress leader was responsible for withdrawing the free power facility extended to farmers. He said Amarinder also withdrew welfare schemes and had also put a ban on government recruitment. “This is his track record as CM. It is good Rahul has chosen him as CM candidate. It is indeed good news for us”.