Haryana Janhit Congress chief Kuldeep Bishnoi today launched a scathing attack on Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, accusing him of having two faces on corruption and asked him to spell out his stand on the matter. Bishnoi also accused Badal of openly campaigning against HJC-BJP candidates for Lok Sabha polls in Haryana.
A week ago, the HJC head shot off a strongly-worded letter to senior BJP leader L K Advani over Shiromani Akali Dal's "open campaign" against the candidates of the BJP and its ally HJC during the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls in Haryana. Accusing Badal of having two faces on corruption, Bishnoi asked Badal to come clean on his stand on the graft. The HJC chief also downplayed attempts by 86-year-old 5-time Punjab Chief Minister to forge an alliance between the BJP and former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala-led INLD ahead of assembly polls in the state in October.
When asked whether Badal's attempt to forge a tie-up between the INLD and the BJP would put a question mark on the future of the HJC-BJP alliance, Bishnoi shot back "there is no question mark over the tie-up. Who will put this question mark, it is either the HJC or the BJP. Who is Parkash Singh Badal, he is nobody. He is just the Chief Minister of Punjab and a part of the NDA. The person (Badal) is supporting the party (INLD) whose leaders (Chautala, his son Ajay and some others) are behind the bars."
"Badal says in Punjab their fight is against corruption and want to make Narendra Modi the Prime Minister. But in Haryana, he campaigns for the INLD, some of whose leaders are in jail for corruption and says defeat the BJP and the HJC. His credibility ends here," Bishnoi said. This exposed the two faces of Badal on the corruption issue, he said. Bishnoi said their alliance with the BJP was strong as ever. "We are with the BJP. Our alliance is rock strong, 100 per cent. From time to time, senior BJP leaders including Modi, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, M M Joshi and others have been reiterating this fact that the alliance is strong and here to stay. But there are some elements who want to spread rumours. We don't care about them," he said.
In his letter to Advani earlier, Bishnoi had asked the BJP to sever its ties with the Punjab's ruling party. The HJC president, interacting with reporters, said he was yet to receive a response from Advani. "He is fighting elections and is busy. So far he has not responded. But I am awaiting a postive response from him," Bishnoi said adding "if I say anything before receiving reply from Advani, it will be premature."
Bishnoi, younger son of former Haryana Chief Minister late Bhajan Lal, claimed the SAD had violated NDA's alliance code by joining hands with the INLD. During his poll campaign in Haryana for INLD, Badal had said the entire clan of late Devi Lal had "always served for the cause of poor and farmers" and his party had old ties with Chautala's party.
When told that Badal had assured voters of Hisar during the poll campaign that he would try to make Chautala Sr's grandson Dushyant Chautala, who had contested from Hisar, as a Minister at the Centre in the event of formation of a Modi government, Bishnoi said "this shows Badal's frustration". Dushyant had fought against Bishnoi who is the sitting MP from Hisar.