Congress' Rajeev Shukla urges Punjab CM Mann to improve law-and-order situation

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Chandigarh, Jul 8 (PTI) Congress leader Rajeev Shukla on Monday expressed concern over Punjab's law-and-order situation and urged Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to firmly tackle its deterioration.

Opposition parties have trained their guns on the Mann-led AAP dispensation over the alleged deterioration of law and order, citing recent incidents, including the attack on Shiv Sena (Punjab) leader Sandeep Thapar in Ludhiana.

Asked about it, Shukla told reporters in Chandigarh that the situation was not good and the Punjab government should improve it.

It will have to deal with the situation firmly and bring incidents of crime under control. Otherwise, people's anger will increase, he said.

"Law and order is connected with the people. I will appeal to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann that he should tackle the law-and-order situation very firmly," said Shukla.

Shukla was in Chandigarh in connection with the Chandigarh Pradesh Youth Congress.

The Congress' Chandigarh president HS Lucky and other city unit leaders provided Shukla with details regarding its upcoming organisational polls.

Various committees of the Congress' Chandigarh unit completed their three-year tenures, a party leader said.

Asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi beginning his two-day Russia visit to hold summit talks with President Vladimir Putin, Shukla said it was a pre-scheduled trip and they had no objection to it.

"But we have been saying and demanding in Parliament too that the prime minister should visit Manipur. He should go there as well," he said.

He also claimed the recent terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir proved hollow the BJP's claim of improving the situation in the Union Territory.

Shukla hit out at the BJP for demanding an apology from Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for his comments about the Hindu community.

"When he was holding up Lord Shiva's picture (while speaking in Parliament), can he be anti-Hindu? He was praising Hinduism along with other religions. Where did he say anything against the Hindu community?" he asked.

He alleged it was the BJP's old habit to mislead.

Shukla also claimed that the Congress was in a strong position in Haryana, where assembly polls are due later this year.

He was responding to claims by former party leader Kiran Choudhry, who recently joined the BJP, that the grand old party had failed to put an organisational structure in place in Haryana.

"She was deputy speaker in Delhi, she was a minister in the Congress government in Haryana… Did she speak on such things earlier?" Shukla asked.

"Sometimes, when you join a new outfit, you say such things to make the leader of that party happy," he quipped and claimed that the Congress would form the next government in Haryana with a big mandate.

Shukla, the Congress' Himachal Pradesh in-charge, said the party would win the July 10 bypoll on all three seats in the state.

The three assembly seats -- Dehra, Hamirpur and Nalagarh -- fell vacant after the resignations of three Independent MLAs. PTI SUN SUN SZM