The Lok Sabha election of 2019 has been marred by violence that has mostly been instigated by opposition parties. From West Bengal to Tamil Nadu to Kerala, the episodes of violence have been spread across the country. Another incident is from Punjab’s Patiala region where workers of the SAD and Congress clashed at a rally in Kalara village. The clash was triggered after some villagers showed black flags to Congress candidate Preneet Kaur. Villagers were hurt during the rally and two of them suffered serious injuries and were taken to the hospital.
One of the villager said, “A peaceful protest was going on with black flags being shown to the local MLA by some villagers, who were perturbed over the government’s partisan role in the recently concluded sarpanch elections,”. The villagers alleged that the Congress workers attacked them after they boycotted the visit of Perneet Kaur and MLA Nirmal Singh. Preneet Kaur is the Congress candidate for the Patiala Lok Sabha seat in Punjab and also wife of the current CM of Punjab Amarinder Singh. The protest against the Congress shows the discontentment that the people of Punjab have for the party and the Chief Minister.
Akali Dal candidate, Surjit Saingh Rakhra met the injured at the hospital while the Congress party candidate and the CM’s wife, Preneet Kaur did not bother to show any gesture of kindness. Surjit Singh alleged, “The Congress workers attacked Akalis with bricks. The police, instead of helping our workers, whisked away Congress leaders and lathicharged our supporters.” The SAD leader further condemned the attack and said that protests are a part of the democratic framework. The villagers also described that once the Congress candidate left the party workers barged into their houses and started beating them up with sticks. One of the villagers said, “The cops did not come to save us. No Congressman was injured. Despite this, a case is being registered against villagers, who were protesting peacefully,”
Congress, in Punjab has not been very successful in fulfilling the promises it had made to win the assembly election. While the royal blood couldn’t charm the people of Punjab, Captain Amarinder failed to deliver the promises and accepted that he failed to replenish the financial gap in Punjab’s economy. The implementation of a raft of promises – debt waiver, unemployment allowance, free smart phones, hiked social pensions and what not – made in the election manifesto has become a daunting challenge for his fund-crunched government.
Now the government in Punjab is scared of a massive protest in the state and the Kalara village incident was just a small trailer to what the Punjab government is soon to face. While the Congress has constantly blamed BJP for not fulfilling the promises it made to people, the state governments under Congress have failed to keep up with the claims and assurances that they made to win the assembly elections.