Chandigarh (Punjab) [India] : Amid the ongoing tension in the Punjab Congress over alliance with AAP to contest the 2024 general election together, Punjab Congress leader Navjot Sidhu on Sunday said that the “INDIA alliance stands like a tall mountain.”
The Punjab Congress leader also added that Punjab must understand that this is an election to choose India‘s Prime Minister and not Punjab‘s Chief Minister.
“The I.N.D.I.A alliance stands like a tall mountain, a storm here and there will not affect its Grandeur !!! Any attempt to sabotage and breach this shield to safeguard our Democracy will prove futile. Punjab must understand that this is an election to choose India‘s Prime Minister and not Punjab‘s Chief Minister !!! #JudegaBharatJeetegaIndia,” posted Sidhu on X.
This comes after Punjab Congress leaders expressed strong resentment and termed the arrest of Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira in connection with a 2015 drugs case as a ‘political vendetta’.
A Punjab court on Saturday sent Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira to 14-day judicial custody in connection with a 2015 drugs case.
“The police demanded a 7-day remand. After seeing the police’s evidence, the judge turned down their request. The court sent him to judicial remand of 14 days,” the counsel said.
Congress MLA Khaira was arrested from his Chandigarh residence on Thursday morning in connection with an old case registered in 2015 under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
The Aam Aadmi Party and Congress– members of the opposition’s INDIA bloc– have been at loggerheads in the border state over the arrest of Khaira.
While the Congress is calling it vindictive politics of AAP, the ruling party is terming the development as part of their “zero-tolerance policy” against drugs.
Earlier in 2015, there were two cases originated with the unearthing of a cross-border drug smuggling network in Fazilka, Punjab, leading to the seizure of heroin, gold biscuits, weapons, cartridges, and Pakistani SIM cards and the second of a fake passport racket being run in Delhi.
As the trial went on, nine smugglers, including Gurdev Singh, Manjit Singh, Harbans Singh, and Subhash Chander, were sentenced in October 2017 in connection with the Fazilka case.
As per the chargesheet, Khaira was closely associated with Gurdev Singh, the leader of the Fazilka drug smuggling racket, and is accused of having sheltered him.
The primary accusations against Khaira include supporting an international gang of smugglers, having sheltered him and receiving financial benefits from drug traffickers, and enjoying the proceeds of crime.
On February 16, 2023, a Supreme Court bench of Justices BR Gavai and Vikram Nath quashed the summoning order against Khaira in the drugs case.
The arrest of Sukhpal Khaira is expected to further dent the relations of AAP and the Congress which have come together to form the INDIA alliance at the centre. The state unit of the Congress has opposed any tie-up or seat-sharing arrangement with the AAP in Punjab.