Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh will likely float a new party ahead of the next year’s assembly election in the state. Amarinder could announce a new party within a fortnight.
Sources said the two-time chief minister has taken several Punjab Congress MLAs and leaders in confidence and reached out to some farmer leaders as well.
Capt Singh had said on 30 September that he was leaving the INC while rubbishing speculation of his joining the BJP. The former chief minister said that the INC was going downhill with senior leaders being ignored. Speculations were rife about Capt Singh joining the BJP as he met Union Home Minister Amit Shah which, leaving the INC humiliated. Amarinder is likely to send his resignation to INC soon.
“I will not join BJP (but) I will not stay in the Congress,” the 79-year-old Capt Amarinder Singh said. He said he was still thinking through his options in the interest of Punjab as security of the state was the predominant priority for him.
Singh, who arrived in Delhi on 28 September, met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on 30 September. He had resigned as Chief Minister on September 18 after accusing the INC of humiliating him.”I will not be treated in this humiliating manner. I will not take such insults,” he said, adding that his principles and beliefs do not allow him to stay in the INC any longer.
He said his senior colleagues in Punjab Congres were “thinkers”, who were critical to the future of the party. The former chief minister said the younger leadership should be promoted to implement the plans, which the senior leaders are best equipped to formulate. Unfortunately, the seniors are being “completely sidelined”, which is not good for the party, he said in a statement.
Capt Amarinder Singh’s Twitter profile description now reads: “Army Veteran | Former Chief Minister Punjab | Continuing to serve the State”. It has no mention of the INC party.
Slamming Navjot Singh Sidhu, Capt Amarinder Singh said he was a mere crowd-puller and did not know how to carry the team along. Misgovernance in Punjab would give Pakistan an opportunity to create trouble in the state and in the country, he said.
Taking a dig at those who undermine the growing Pakistani threat in Punjab, he said that such people were playing into the hands of anti-India forces by being in a denial mode. “They (Pak-backed elements) are killing our soldiers every day, they are pushing weapons into the state through drones. How can we overlook these dangers,” he said.
Capt Amarinder Singh had earlier accused Sidhu of being close to Pakistan and its prime minister Imran Khan and had alleged that he was “dangerous” for the border state. He said he has worked with many PPCC chiefs and he has himself been one, and he has always resolved issues amicably, without indulging in theatrics like Sidhu. Amarinder was opposed to Sidhu being appointed as PCC chief.