After an undated video of Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma asking voters to vote for the Congress went viral on social media, on Saturday he said that his statement has been twisted.
"My statement has been twisted they want to hoodwink people. AAP or Congress cannot benefit Punjab and are dangerous for the state," NDTV quoted him as saying.
Reportedly, he had said, "A vote for AAP means a vote for terrorism. A vote to break Punjab. Any person who votes for AAP will be betraying thecountry and Punjab. If you don't want to vote for us (BJP), vote for Congress. But don't vote for somebody who betrays the country."
Meanwhile, all is set for the multi-cornered Punjab Assembly polls on Sunday with over 2.14 crore voters to decide the fate of 1,304 candidates, including 93 women, on 117 seats.
Polling will be held from 8 am till 6 pm, said an official of the chief electoral office. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.
Punjab is witnessing a multi-cornered contest among the Congress, AAP, SAD-BSP alliance, BJP-PLC-SAD (Sanyukt) and the Sanyukt Samaj Morcha, a political front of various farmer bodies.
The ruling Congress, which is seeking to retain power, has come under severe attack from its political opponents over various issues, including drug menace and corruption.
The Congress is banking on decisions like reducing electricity tariff and fuel prices, taken during current CM Charanjit Singh Channi's 111-day tenure.
The Aam Aadmi Party, which has emerged as a major contender, is eyeing to wrest power while projecting the Delhi model of governance.
The stakes are also high for the Shiromani Akali Dal which is contesting the polls in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party after breaking ties with the BJP in 2020 over the farm laws issue.
With Sukhbir Singh Badal in the driving seat, the SAD called itself "Punjab's own party" and promised all-round development of the state.
The BJP, which used to be a junior partner during its previous alliance with the SAD, is fighting the elections as a major partner.
Entering into an alliance with Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Lok Congress and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa-led SAD (Sanyukt), the saffron party has asked voters to go for a "double-engine government" for "Nawan" (new) Punjab.
The Sanyukt Samaj Morcha, comprising various Punjab farmer bodies, which had taken part in the stir against the Centre's now repealed farm laws, is contesting the polls in alliance with Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union (Chaduni) leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni-led Sanyukt Sangharsh Party.
Prominent faces who are in the fray are Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Aam Aadmi Party's chief ministerial face Bhagwant Mann, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, former CMs Amarinder Singh and Parkash Singh Badal, and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma and former Union minister Vijay Sampla are also fighting the elections.
(With PTI inputs)