The day before the end of the campaign for 2019, the Lok Sabha survey, Captain Amandark Singh, Punjab, talked with Indian Express of Elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his "claim" that Balakot's strikes were "his personal success," and the state of affairs in Punjab. Excerpts:
How are these choices different from the previous ones?
What made a big difference is the social media. Also, there are at least 25 percent more TV channels than five years ago. Coverage is much more, and people are very conscious.
How many seats do you hope to win, since you (Congress) had only three last times (in Punjab)?
We will clear the state, and this is not a statement I make just so. Akali Dal is divided into three, as is the Aam Aadmi Party. Congress will be the biggest winner. This division, together with the anger against Akali, our main opposition, in terms of sacrilege, will have a major impact on the vote. Congress will take precedence.
You decided to build a monument to the victims of the unprovoked shooting at Bargara.
Yes, we announced it earlier, but we were in trouble. Putting money into the money is not really worth it. We left it to the village to decide, but I propose that they set up some type of institute, or college, that really benefits people.
Today there is a tendency to make a gate. But what is the benefit of the gate? It should be something in which children can learn, or may be a hospital.
What are the odds of the Congress in the rest of the country?
I talked with colleagues with whom I flew, and everyone is very optimistic. Statistically, if you ask me which state does, I can not tell you, but the indications are that we are good.
Your speeches were mostly about Prime Minister Narendra Modi. You were the first to take over the prime minister on the Balakot strike.
I do not think that Modi has the right to claim this as his own personal success. No prime minister before him – since 1947 until now – did not claim any strike (by forces) as his own personal success. They were always attributed to the armed forces. Mrs. Indira Gandhi gave full gratitude to Field Marshal Sam Manekha (for the war of 1971).
After that, (Atal Bihari) Vajpaiee acknowledged Kargil's success in defense – then (General) General VP Malik. It is obvious that the decision is made by the Prime Minister in consultation with the Cabinet and the bosses (departments) inform the government. However, the defense services finally carry out the mission.
As for the people who are questioning the strikes in Balakot, I think that people have the right to question. When the aviation chief says that he hit the target, I trust him because I am [retired] millions and millions of other people who would like to know whether the strikes have taken place or not. Why do I say that this is because during the Kargil (war) you showed every picture on the television screen. The aviation strike at Pakistan's ammunition depot was thrown over the screen. Today, your technology is far more sophisticated.
Forget about sending a reconnaissance plane, your satellites provide information from minute to minute. Similarly, when the missiles are fired, each rocket has a camera in its cone, on the nose, and keeps the information until the moment it strikes. That must have been all there with aviation. Why do not you show it? That's what we want to know.
I think many people want to know, and I want to know. It was a protocol in all the wars of the past. In the Second World War, the aviation was going and bombing the German factory and dams and military installations … and the reports were given by the commander of the forces. The next morning, a reconnaissance plane will be sent to check the reports.
Even at that time, combat aircraft were carrying a camera with a camera, and intelligence officers would shoot a movie to confirm whether the pilot was telling the truth. These are tried and tested methods, so what are you trying to hide here?
He became CM in relation to the narrative in Punjab.
(The prime minister has been criticized) because the struggle for the national government – my fight (parliamentary elections) will come in three years. Now is the struggle for a new prime minister, a new government (in the Center). I think that the time has come, and people in Punjab and India want a change.
Priyanka Gandhi proved to be a great attraction in the country and elsewhere. Do you think that Creating the face of the Congress would be better for her?
No, I do not think so. She replenishes her brother and gets a lot of answers, as I saw twice in Bathindi and Gurdaspur. Rahul (Gandhi) also does a great job – his openness and sincerity is what people like. People love someone to be honest and open, and I think that's what Rahul does.
You mentioned that Sunil Jakhar (Gurdaspur candidate) could be a future minister. Do not you think it will start a race in the party?
I said I know Sunila for a very long time. He is a very intelligent and very promising person, a person who knows how to deal with things, and I said that you will someday see him as Chief Minister of Punjab. I did not say the next government. I said you would see him as the future Chief Minister.
What about the (Navjot) Sidhu situation?
Well, Sidhu went to the campaign somewhere else. I told him that the 17th of May, the last day of the campaign for the final phase of the vote, should be given to Punjab. Hopefully he will do it. In the end, Punjab is his country. How can you avoid your own state? You go all over the country.
I went to the state and found that people are concerned about drugs and employment. Drugs will not be destroyed in Punjab yet.
That's right. Drugs are not completely destroyed. We said that we broke the spine, which was our commitment. (Ali) drugs are still traded. Can you imagine that the police in Kashmir caught 30 kilograms of drugs in Uri (which was) on the way to Amritsar? Then we found 100 pounds of drugs in the port of Kandla (in Gujarat), (also) intended for Amritsar.
So, although we are checking at any time, we recently started a new thing: our police are in close cooperation with the police departments of different states, so that we can exchange information and work on it. Do you know that many of our drugs came from Delhi?
What about unemployment? Most young people just want to go abroad.
It has become a great tragedy in some way: if one's parents have 2 hectares, then they are forced to sell the land and send them abroad. They go abroad and leave parents down. It's becoming a big problem. That's why we concentrate on the industrialization of Punjab, so we can create new jobs here and keep children here.
There are people who see you as candidates for the prime minister.
No, no, no, at all. Look, I have only one ambition in my life: to see Punjab again. That is all.
Does Captain Amarinder, a military historian, work on some new projects?
Well, I will write about the battle of Gallipoli (in Turkey, as part of the First World War). But before I do, I write about the problematic period of Punjab. I was part of it, I recorded and I was in a position to present the truth.