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Will ask EC to add cost of Arun Jaitley's house in his poll expense: Congress

Sunday, 13 April 2014 - 6:07pm IST | Place: Amritsar | Agency: PTI

 Congress will bring the purchase of Rs one crore house by BJP nominee from Amritsar Lok Sabha seat Arun Jaitley to the notice of Election Commission so that it is included in his poll expenditure as purchase was made with sole political purpose.

"This house has been purchased by Jaitley with the sole purpose of convincing people here that he be considered to be a local resident which means he has done it with the purpose of winning the election that makes it a clear case of election expense," said Capt Amarinder Singh, Congress candidate from Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.

The Punjab former Chief Minister added that even Jaitley has himself admitted that he had bought this house since he was being considered as an outsider. Taking a dig at Jaitley's move Capt Amarinder, who was visiting the Jallianwala Bagh here said, "buying a luxurious house does not win you an election, only winning the people's hearts will do. This is too little and too late for Jaitley to fight the tag of an outsider."

Asserting that it was just a poll gimmick by the BJP candidate, he asked him, "you have been a member of parliament from Gujarat for last 14 years how come you never felt a need to buy a house there while you have bought a house here before the elections".
He said, Jaitley was being insincere at least to the people of one state either Gujarat, from where he remained an MP for last 14 years and still is or the people of Punjab from where he aspires to be an MP now.
"Anyway it is good that he has purchased a house here in Amritsar which he will never need to live in, but in any case after the elections if he wishes he can certainly rent it out to me as I will need one here," he said in a lighter vein to a question whether he also intended to buy a house here.

"Better to live in the people's hearts than to purchase a house to make a political statement, which people are not going to buy," Capt Amarinder and also questioned rapid growth in Jaitley's wealth between 2006 and 2012.

He said, in 2006 in his affidavit while filing the nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat he mentioned his wealth to be Rs 26 crore and in 2012 it turned out to be Rs 158 crore.
"This was despite the fact that he had given up his legal practise in 2009 and his only source of income was his salary as the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
"Will he explain it please?" Capt Amarinder asked.

Meanwhile, Jaitley retorted back at Amarinder saying that now he (Jaitley) had purchased the house, now it is Amarinder's turn to listen.

In humoristic tone, the BJP leader said, "Captain advised me to buy house on the Indian side of Border. Now I advise Capt Amarinder Singh not to buy house on the other side of the border".
Jaitley said, "Amarinder has an option and he can exercise it (to bring to notice of EC about Jaitley purchasing house) by bringing the facts in the notice of Election Commission as who stops him."

Meanwhile, Amarinder visited Jallianwala Bagh to pay homage to the martyrs who laid down their lives on April 13, 1919.

Paying floral tributes to the martyrs, he said, this place reminded every countryman about the heavy price the people of India paid for getting freedom.
He said, it is important that the young and the coming generations know that the freedom they are enjoying must not be taken for granted as it has come at a cost and it was their duty to preserve that freedom and live up to the ideals and expectations of those who secured it for the country. 

Later addressing public meetings at different villages, Amarinder took a jibe at Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal for "selling fake dreams" to people of Amritsar about Jaitley becoming the Deputy Prime Minister and the Finance Minister.

First of all Jaitley is not going to win as is more than obvious from the mood of the people of Amritsar, he said adding that "probably Badals believe that Jaitley either has a magic wand or has got some currency note-printing machine and he will flush them with money." 

He said that the Badals have a proven record of failure and misgovernance. He pointed out, during the last seven years since they took over, Punjab could not manage to get a single project from the Government of India worth its name.

On Badal's allegations that the Congress-led UPA government discriminated against the Akali-BJP government in Punjab, Capt Amarinder retorted with facts and figures to "nail his (Badal's) lies".
He revealed that between 2007 and 2013 the same Congress-led UPA government had provided Rs 12,000 crore to Gujarat ruled by the BJP, Rs 8,000 crore to Karnataka which was mostly ruled by the BJP during this period, Rs 12,000 crore to West Bengal which was earlier ruled by the Left parties and later by the Trinamool Congress, both opposed to the Congress.

"If the UPA had no problem with these states why should it discriminate against Punjab?" he asked.

At the same time the former Chief Minister explained, this money was granted to the states after they submitted their proposals and projects with a provision for the matching grants.
Compared to that, the Congress leader added, Punjab submitted just two projects which got cancelled since they could not provide the matching grants.

"Now let you ask Badal who is responsible he of the UPA government?" he asked, while adding, Badal had a habit of lying and pleading discrimination and persecution.

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