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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Punjab congress development after sisrsa exit

ON the day when Shiromani Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa joined BJP, Punjab Congress shook off the development as “a setback to SAD”, but said it was watching the political developments closely ahead of 2022 Assembly elections.

Even as some leaders mocked at SAD stating that Sirsa was their leader and Congress had nothing to lose, a few party leaders said that they would have to watch BJP’s strategy as the party would leave no stone unturned to consolidate its position in the state especially after repealing farm laws.  “Everybody knows that Captain (Amarinder Singh) is considered a nationalist leader by Punjabi Hindus. We have written him off for the anti-incumbency faced by him in the state. But we have to watch out for the developments. By taking Sirsa, the BJP, in its wisdom, has tried to hit a masterstroke. That is another point that he is known as an RSS product in Punjab. So, his joining BJP would not have any effect,” a Congress leader said.

He added that by taking Sirsa in party fold, the BJP had proved that it does not understand Panthic politics.

“Our worry is not Sirsa. Our worry is ‘what is coming next’. We do not know what arm-twisting they are resorting to for getting leaders in their party fold. There are reports that Union Minister Amit Shah’s team has been calling up a few Congress leaders also.”

While Sirsa’s joining created a flutter in Punjab, the Congress was also embarrassed at the High Court giving relief to Amarinder loyalist and Patiala Mayor Sanjeev Sharma Bittu, who was suspended by Local Bodies Minister Brahm Mohindra after he had failed the floor test. The Congress leaders discussed among themselves that this would be a shot in the arm for Amarinder camp.

Also, the former CM is meeting Shah and BJP chief J P Nadda on Saturday, according to Amarinder’s OSD, Major Amardeep Singh.

He said the former CM will leave for Delhi on Friday. The meeting will be watched keenly.

“The BJP has not revealed its cards yet. Only Captain has been saying that he will forge an alliance with BJP. Let us see,” said a party leader. The Congress has been banking on committed Hindu voters and Dalits especially after the party named Charanjit Singh Channi as the CM.

“We are concerned about the swing Hindu voters, who make or break the party. Let us see which side they go. If they go to BJP, then we will have a problem. We know the BJP is hated by rural voters after the farm law agitation. Sirsa would not be able to turn that hatred into love for BJP,” said a party leader.

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