Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is likely to float a new party ahead of the next year’s Assembly polls in the state. According to reports, Amarinder could announce a new party within 15 days. The two-time CM is believed to have taken several Congress MLAs and leaders in confidence and also reached out to some farmer leaders.
Amarinder on Thursday said that he was leaving the Congress party and scotched speculation of his joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The former CM said that the Congress was going downhill with senior leaders being ignored. Speculations were rife about Amarinder joining the BJP as he met Union Home Minister Amit Shah which, leaving the Congress humiliated. Amarinder is likely to send his resignation to Congress soon.
“I will not join BJP (but) I will not stay in the Congress party,” the 79-year-old leader said, adding that he was still thinking through his options in the interest of Punjab as security of the state was the predominant priority for him.
Singh, who arrived in the national capital on Tuesday, also met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Thursday. He had resigned as Chief Minister on September 18 after accusing the Congress of humiliating him.
“I will not be treated in this humiliating manner. I will not take such insults,” he said, adding that his principles and beliefs do not allow him to stay in the Congress any longer.
Terming the senior Congressmen as “thinkers”, who were critical to the future of the party, the former CM said the younger leadership should be promoted to implement the plans, which the senior leaders are best equipped to formulate. Unfortunately, the seniors are being “completely sidelined” which is not good for the party, he said in a statement.
Amarinder’s Twitter bio now reads: “Army Veteran | Former Chief Minister Punjab | Continuing to serve the State”. It has no mention of the Congress party.
Slamming Navjot Singh Sidhu, Amarinder said he was a mere crowd-puller and did not know how to carry the team along. Misgovernance in Punjab would give Pakistan an opportunity to create trouble in the state and in the country, he said.
Taking a dig at those who undermine the growing Pakistani threat in Punjab, he said that such people were playing into the hands of anti-India forces by being in a denial mode. “They (Pak-backed elements) are killing our soldiers every day, they are pushing weapons into the state through drones. How can we overlook these dangers,” he said.
Amarinder had earlier accused Sidhu of being close to Pakistan and its prime minister Imran Khan and had alleged that he was “dangerous” for the border state. He said he has worked with many PPCC chiefs and he has himself been one, and he has always resolved issues amicably, without indulging in theatrics like Sidhu. Amarinder was opposed to Sidhu being appointed as PCC chief.