Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on 17 December announced an alliance with the BJP for the assembly elections in the state scheduled next year. The former chief minister, who formed a new party called Punjab Lok Congress after being forced to step down as chief minister by the INC, made the formal announcement after a meeting with Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat who is also in charge of Punjab BJP.
“We are ready and we are going to win this election. The decision on seat sharing will be taken on a seat-to-seat basis, with winnability being the priority. We are 101% sure of winning this election,” Amarinder said after the meeting.
“After seven rounds of talks, today I confirm that BJP and the Punjab Lok Congress are going to fight the upcoming Punjab assembly elections together. Topics like seat-sharing will be discussed later,” the union minister said.
After parting ways with the INC, the former chief minister had made it clear that he will join hands with the BJP for the assembly elections if the three farm laws were withdrawn by the union government.
The union government, in a surprise move, announced its decision to take back the farm laws on the day of Guru Purab, thus paving the way for the alliance.
Amarinder had been at loggerheads with Navjot Singh Sidhu for months before finally quitting the INC. The two leaders traded open charges against each other. However, the INC high command eventually sided with Sidhu and made him the Punjab Congress chief, ignoring very strong opposition by Amarinder Singh.
In the 2017 Punjab assembly election, the INC had won an absolute majority in the state by bagging 77 seats and ousted the SAD-BJP government after 10 years.
The Aam Aadmi Party emerged as the second-largest party winning 20 seats in 117-member Punjab Legislative assembly.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which has since parted ways with the BJP over the farm laws, could only manage to win 15 seats.
The BJP could manage to win only three seats.