AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the Punjab government was not afraid of taking stringent measures to curb criminal activities in the state.
His comments came after Punjab Police launched a major crackdown against radical preacher Amritpal Singh and members of his outfit 'Waris Punjab De'.
"When we came to power in Punjab, people said they (AAP) can work in the fields of education, health and power, but handling law and order situation will be tough.
"The system we inherited from previous governments showed that criminals and gangsters were provided political protection. But our government is an honest one. We are taking strict action against such elements," Kejriwal said.
The action taken over the past few days has shown that AAP government is "ready to take strictest step" when it comes to maintaining law-and-order as well as peace in the state.
He said the strict action against criminals taken by the Punjab government has shown that the "AAP is a hardcore patriotic party".
"After coming at the helm, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led government of AAP began taking actions against several drug mafias and gangsters.
"Over the past one year, the AAP dispensation in Punjab has proved that if intentions are good and the government is honest, the law and order can also be very well maintained," Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal congratulated Mann for the crackdown and also thanked people for their support.
"We are patriots. We love Bharat Mata (mother India). Anyone doing anything against Bharta Mata will not be spared. Anyone trying to destroy peace and tranquility will not be spared. Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government has proved that it is ready to take strictest action in the national interest if need arise," he said.
Police in Punjab on Saturday had launched a massive manhunt against Singh and members of his outfit. The preacher, however, gave the police a slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Jalandhar district.
In his reaction to the police action, Mann said he received several calls from people praising his government.
"People are telling me, you have done a good job. There should be peace and harmony in Punjab and in this matter, we will support you," he said in a video message.