Punjab chief minister (CM) Charanjit Singh Channi on Friday again invoked his humble background while accusing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and its CM face Bhagwant Mann of making false claims about his wealth.
Denying that he owns assets worth ₹170 crore as claimed by Mann recently, Channi said: “Mann should give his property to me and take mine; then my ₹170 crore, as per his claims, will go to him and he’ll realise what I possess.”
After Congress leader Rahul Gandhi cited Channi’s humble background while naming him the party’s CM, Bhagwant Mann had called Channi a billionaire with ₹170-crore assets.
“A poor man is a poor man, irrespective of his cast. I am a man of humble background and only have ₹1.16 crore of immovable assets, which is a house in this case. Everyone needs a house to live in. I do not know how Mann claims that I have ₹170-crore assets?” Channi said, while addressing a public rally at the Gill assembly segment in support of MLA and party candidate Kuldeep Vaid.
However, in his affidavit submitted to the Election Commission, Channi has declared immovable assets worth ₹4.71 crore and moveable worth ₹1.46 crore. Along with his wife’s assets worth ₹3.27 crore, the couple has ₹9.44-crore assets.
Calling Mann a “Class 12 pass” and “drunkard”, Channi told the gathering that if they vote for the AAP, party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal would end up ruling the putting state, and “get anything signed from him (Mann), the state’s waters and also claim over Chandigarh in danger”.
“Stage par chutkale sunane and state chalane mei bahut farak hai (There is a huge difference between cracking jokes on the stage and running a state),” he said, while pointing to Mann’s background as a comedian, and added: “Do such people deserve to rule the state who are caught in an inebriated state in the Parliament?”
Channi said that the AAP was seeking “one chance” while telling voters that they have already tried other parties. “But it was Amarinder Singh who was the CM for over four years; you have seen Amarinder not me,” he told the gathering.
Counting the works done in 111 days of his rule before the model code of conduct was imposed, the Punjab CM regretted that he could not do much because of limited time. “I announce free education for all and special scholarships for students of all classes. There will be a scheduled caste (SC) scholarship, other backward class (OBC) scholarship and scholarship for general category students as well,” he said, while also promising free health facilities in government hospitals.
Meanwhile, targeting the Badals, Channi said: “While Shiromani Akali Dal is a good party, its president Sukhbir Singh Badal and leader Bikram Singh Majithia have destroyed it. SAD leaders have only amassed wealth by running buses and constructing hotels.”