Captain Amarinder Singh will make a new beginning in his career today, for which he had been working for a month at least. The captain has called a press conference in Chandigarh where he is expected to announce his new party, a possibility that has caused some consternation in Punjab Congress.
With the arrival of the news of Amarinder Singh’s press conference, the INC contacted its MLAs and began monitoring the activities of prominent politicians, sources in the party said. A few veteran Congressmen can be spotted in the conference with the former Punjab chief minister, the party suspects.
Since Charanjit Singh Channi became the chief minister, all eyes are on the Amarinder-era MLAs removed from his cabinet. These are Rana Gurmeet Sodhi, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Gurpreet Kangar, Balbir Sidhu and Sham Sundar Arora. As many as 15 other INC MLAs are in touch with Amarinder Singh, the party leadership has come to know.
However, some politicians close to Amarinder Singh no longer appear interested. The biggest name among them is that of Captain Sandeep Sandhu, who was Amarinder Singh’s adviser when he was the chief minister. He was considered the closest and most powerful man of Amarinder Singh in the state government. He had given up the advisory post on the removal of Amarinder Singh.
Sandhu seems to have rebuilt bridges with the INC leadership, as he now hobnobs with Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa. Kewal Singh Dhillon was considered close to the captain too, but he is another one to have mended his bridges with the Channi government.
Meanwhile, the issue of Amarinder Singh’s ‘friend’ Arusa Alam fizzled out after he released photos of the Pakistani with veteran personalities including Sonia Gandhi.
A source close to Amarinder Singh said the new party he would announce shortly would keep in mind the Punjabi farmers’ movement while framing its policies. Amarinder Singh spoke of an alliance with BJP only after the decision on agriculture laws.
Being a veteran of the Indian Army, the captain will challenge the Channi government’s resolution against increasing the authority of the BSF, the source said.
The INC unseated Captain Amarinder Singh about 6 months before the Punjab elections. He said at that point he had been humiliated. He had targeted Navjot Sidhu, the new chief of Punjab Congress, and the INC high command. After this, Amarinder Singh went to Delhi and met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. This, even as he has been categorical in saying that he will not join the BJP.