Assembly elections

Punjab polls: Amarinder Singh wants to defeat CM Parkash Singh Badal on his home turf

He said he wanted to free the state from the 'vicious and destructive rule of the Badals'.

Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Saturday said he would go up against Chief Minster Parkash Singh Badal in the state elections on February 4. He said he had requested his party to let him contest the polls from the Lambi constituency, which is also Badal’s home turf.

The former chief minister said he wanted to free Punjab from the “vicious and destructive rule of the Badals”
. “I want to fight the CM on his home turf to defeat top Akali leaders responsible for destroying the state through their drugs, mafia and goonda raj, and guilty of ruining its trade, industry and agriculture,” he said, adding that a formal announcement in this regard would be made soon.

His party is likely to field Ludhiana MP Ravneet Bittu against deputy CM Sukhbir Badal for the Jalalabad seat, reported Hindustan Times. Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu is also likely to take on a senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader in the upcoming polls, though he has yet to formally join the party.

However, Singh said Navjot Singh Sidhu was “100% in the party”, even as the cricketer-turned politicians continued to keep everyone guessing about his new allegiance. Singh told ANI that Sidhu would be contesting the elections as a Congress candidate from the Amritsar East constituency.

“He [Navjot Singh Sidhu] is 100% in the Congress, and as Navjot Kaur has announced, he is a candidate from Amritsar East,” Singh said. Sidhu’s wife had said on Friday that her husband would join the party in a day or two. “He has a big responsibility as he will canvass for the party across the state as a star campaigner,” she had said.

She has been a member of the Congress party since she quit the Bharatiya Janata Party last year. The political circles have been abuzz with speculations about what party Navjot Singh Sidhu would join since he left the saffron camp alleging that he was not being allowed to work for Punjab.

The Congress has already released names of 100 candidates for the state polls. The party has yet to announce candidates for 17 seats, including Amritsar East. The votes will be counted on March 11.

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