Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (File Pic)
Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (File Pic)

2022 Punjab Polls: Amarinder questions Congress decision to appoint Ajay Maken as screening committee head

ANI | Updated: Dec 07, 2021 20:26 IST

Chandigarh [India], December 7 (ANI): Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain (retired) Amarinder Singh on Tuesday lashed out at the Congress high command for appointing Ajay Maken, nephew of one of the accused in 1984 anti-Sikh riots, as chairman of the Screening Committee for the next Assembly elections in Punjab.
"Maken is the nephew of Lalit Maken, who was one of the main culprits of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi. The Congress could not have nominated a worse person than Maken for the job. On one hand, the central government is moving ahead with the prosecution of a culprit, Sajjan Kumar, while the Congress is rewarding the Makens and that too in Punjab, thus (this appointment) is like rubbing salt into Punjabis' wounds," reads a statement released by Singh.
"The Congress party should have avoided naming someone like Maken, as the name itself draws derision and revulsion in Punjab for the involvement of his late uncle in the anti-Sikh riots where innocent victims were burnt alive to death," the former Chief Minister said. He added, "Even otherwise Maken was not qualified enough to head the Screening Committee with veteran leaders like Ambika Soni and Sunil Jakhar being kept under him."
Questioning Maken's previous election record, former Congress leader said, "Maken had presided over two successive defeats of the party in Delhi assembly elections drawing back to back blank. With someone who has presided over virtual wiping out of the party in Delhi, now being handed over the job in Punjab, the fate of the party can be anybody's guess."
"After ensuring that Congress got zero seats in two successive elections in Delhi in 2014 and 2019, he has now been dispatched to ensure that same feat is achieved in Punjab as well," Amarinder said. He added, "This clearly indicates that the party has admitted to defeat before the elections by appointing a failed politician, who lost 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections, losing even his deposit in the Vidhan Sabha."
AICC general secretary Ajay Maken has been appointed as the chairman of the screening committee of Congress for the 2022 Punjab Assembly polls.
Notably, Amarinder Singh quit Congress after months of in-fighting with current state Punjab PCC President Navjot Singh Sidhu and formed his own party.
He has announced his own party Lok Congress Party which will contest the upcoming election in alliance with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa's party.
In the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, Congress won an absolute majority in the state by winning 77 seats and ousted the SAD-BJP government after 10 years.
Aam Aadmi Party emerged as the second-largest party winning 20 seats in 117-member Punjab Legislative Assembly. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) could only manage to win 15 seats while the BJP secured 3 seats. (ANI)