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Friday, July 1, 2022

Sure that Punjab Lok Congress, allies will form next govt: Captain Amarinder Singh

CHANDIGARH: Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh threw down the gauntlet to Congress on Monday, saying he was confident his newly-floated Punjab Lok Congress and its allies would form the next state government in 2022 with a little help from BJP through seat-sharing.
Amarinder, who had met Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Chandigarh earlier in the day, denied the interaction had anything to do with his political strategy.
“It was purely a courtesy meeting. I had spoken to him a couple of times over the phone, and told him that I will meet him whenever he is free. No political development. I had a nice cup of coffee with the chief minister,” he said.
On whether he had initiated a seat-sharing arrangement with BJP yet, Amarinder said that he would meet the party’s central leadership whenever he visited Delhi next. “We are expecting to get the symbol (from the Election Commission) in the next few days. It takes about three weeks to register a party, and it has been three weeks (since he applied for it). The membership drive started about 10 days ago and is doing well. People are very upbeat. God willing, we, along with our allies, seat adjustments with BJP and (a tie-up with) Mr (Sukhdev Singh) Dhindsa’s party (SAD Sanyukt), will form the next government,” he said.
The former Congress veteran wouldn’t say if some prominent names in Punjab politics were already lining up to join his party. “Wait for the time,” he said.
Amarinder, for whom the new farm laws were the main hurdle to forging an understanding with BJP, said the topic was now buried as the central government had repealed the three contentious pieces of legislation and agreed to look into six-seven other issues raised by farmers. “When the government of India says so, both Punjab and Haryana will look into withdrawing the police cases against farmers,” he said of one of their primary demands.
Amarinder also tweeted, “Congratulations to all our farmers as the central government has formally repealed the three farm laws in both houses of Parliament on Monday. I a, confident that the government will sympathetically look into the pending demands of our farmers.”
On the show-cause notice issued by Congress to his wife and Patiala MP Preneet Kaur, Amarinder said, “That is up to her to do (reply).”
He maintained that it was beyond him to comprehend the actions of state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was the trigger for his quitting the party. “He says something in the morning and something else in the evening. How do I react?”
Haryana Congress functionaries Randeep Surjewala and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that Amarinder’s meeting with Khattar was his business. “It is his wish. He is not part of us,” Surjewala said.

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