Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday said his party was fighting the Jalandhar by-election on the basis of nine years' "extraordinary performance" of the Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing the media here along with party state president Ashwani Sharma and other party leaders, he said under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Modi, the country's stature had risen globally.
"India has faced several domestic and international challenges successfully under Modi's leadership and the people realised that," he said, while asserting that the BJP was on a strong footing because of the performance of the Central government. "We are reaching out to people on the basis of the performance of the BJP government at the Centre," he said.
Besides, the former Chief Minister added there was unprecedented development all around, particularly in the defence and infrastructure sectors. He claimed that during the tenure of A.K. Antony as Defence Minister, there was virtually no purchase of equipment and the country was facing an ammunition shortage.
He said during Modi's tenure the country has become fully equipped in terms of ammunition.
Replying to a question over the arrest of Amritpal Singh, Amarinder Singh said the state government had done it quite late and he should have been arrested much earlier. He said nobody should be allowed to play with peace and harmony in the country as there can be no tolerance towards anti-national activities.
The former Chief Minister dismissed the suggestions that a particular community was being maligned or victimised. "Amritpal is neither a leader nor a representative of any community," he said.
He said he has always shown zero-tolerance to corruption. At the same time, he added, anti-corruption drive should not mean resorting to political witch-hunt and vendetta. Action should be taken after due inquiry and not just because someone is politically opposed to "you and you have to settle some score with him", he remarked.
On the issue of Uttar Pradesh gangster Mukhtar Ansari, the former Chief Minister said he had been arrested and detained in the jail under due process of law as there was a criminal complaint registered against him in Punjab.