Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh today called upon party workers to "plaster" Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's face on all effigies and set them on fire without getting cowed by any attempts of the administration or police to prevent them from exercising their right to protest.
Taking on the Badal government over its latest reported diktat on the Chitta Ravan issue, Amarinder told the party workers not to be afraid of reports suggesting that the police were preparing for a crackdown to stop them from burning effigies of "Badal and his cronies."
Amarinder warned police to stop "indulging in high-handed actions to stifle the voice of democracy at the behest of the dictatorial Badal government".
The state unit of Congress had yesterday announced that it will burn an effigy of 'Chitta Ravan' in Ludhiana to draw Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attention to the drug menace in the state during his visit to the industrial city on October 18.
The party will also burn 'Chitta Ravans' in all the 117 Assembly constituencies of the state tomorrow.
Modi will address industrialists at an event in the city on October 18. 'Chitta' means drugs in colloquial language.
Stating that there is no prohibiton on the use of faces on effigies, Amarinder Singh urged the party workers to come out on the roads in large numbers tomorrow to burn effigies with faces of "Badal and Co." as part of the party's state-wide anti-drugs campaign.
"I am with you. In fact, the entire party is with you," he told the Congress workers, asking them not to give in to the pressure tactics of the government.
Amarinder declared that he himself would blast 'Chitta Ravan' with the faces of the "corrupt and criminal Badal team" in Ludhiana to show Prime Minister Narendra Modi what kind of goons he was supporting in Punjab.
"Let them (the cops) try and stop us. We will fight them every inch of the way. They can't stop us from venting our anger at the suffering being meted out to the people by the Badal government," he said in a statement today.
Amarinder, Congress MP from Amritsar, said use of faces on effigies was not prohibited and the Badal government could not legally stop the Congress from setting such effigies aflame.
He was reacting to a report in a section of the media suggesting that police would not allow cutouts of faces to be burnt.
"It's a democratic country and we can use the face of any leader, including world leaders, to mark our protest," said Captain Amarinder, condemning the Punjab government "for putting the administration and police under pressure to implement its unreasonable and tyrannical diktats".
"We will not give in to such terror threats," said Amarinder, reiterating the Congress' commitment to wipe out the drug menace from Punjab.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)