The twists and turns in Punjab politics ahead of the Assembly elections next year have brought Amarinder Singh in the camp of his (former) adversaries.
A Congress stalwart, Singh resigned after being unceremoniously removed from the Chief Minister’s post by the party high command after a bitter power tussle with the State Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. The Congress has since appointed Charanjit Singh Channi as the CM, but is struggling with internal strife.
The former Punjab Chief Minister, earlier this month, launched a new party- Punjab Lok Congress. Singh, on Monday, said his party will form the next government in Punjab along with the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and a breakaway Akali faction. When asked whether any “big faces” were expected to join the Punjab Lok Congress ahead of the Assembly elections, Singh said, “Wait for the time. Everything is going fine. People are very upbeat and our membership drive is going good.”
“God willing, we and with our seat adjustment with the BJP and with Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa’s party (SAD Sanyukt), we will form the government,” he said.
Farm Laws Repeal Paves Way For Alliance?
The comment came after Singh held a surprise meeting with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Captain Amarinder described his meeting with Lal as a courtesy call. “There was no political development. I had a very nice cup of coffee with the Chief Minister,” he was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
Amarinder Singh’s meeting with Khattar came on a day when the Bill to repeal the three farm reform laws was passed by the Parliament. In the photographs of their meeting released by the Haryana Government, Khattar is seen receiving Singh with a warm hug.
Replying to a question by the reporters on the farm laws, he said, “Everything is now over. The three bills (laws) have been repealed by Parliament.” He added that the union government had agreed to other six to seven issues raised by farmers. “So, there is no issue left,” he said. On the farmers’ demand for the withdrawal of police cases against protesters, he said the Centre will take a look at these cases.
“I have met the Chief Minister does not mean that when you meet someone it is political something. This is just a normal courtesy call,” he told the reporters on a query on alliance with the BJP. Asked if he will meet BJP leaders for a seat sharing arrangement for the Punjab elections, Singh said he will go to Delhi and certainly call on them.