Amarinder to fight Punjab election from family bastion Patiala

Former CM had in April challenged Sidhu to contest against him from Patiala and said that the latter would be defeated

Amarindar Singh had in April this year challenged Navjot Sidhu to contest against him from Patiala | File Photo

Former Congress leader and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said on Sunday he would contest the 2022 assembly election from Patiala, his family bastion.

Singh has represented the constituency four times, while his wife Preneet Kaur won the seat in 2014. Singh resigned the post of CM in September following a power tussle with MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was appointed state Congress president. Charanjit Singh Channi was elected as Amarinder’s replacement.

Amarinder floated his own political party, the Punjab Lok Congress, earlier this month and vowed to contest all 117 assembly seats. He had earlier said he was open to forming an alliance with the BJP for the 2022 polls.

Amarindar had in April this year challenged Sidhu to contest against him from Patiala and said that the latter would be defeated just like BJP’s General (retd) JJ Singh, who contested the 2017 election against him but had to forfeit his security deposit after the result, with just 11.1 per cent of the votes.

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Earlier this month, Amarinder quit the Congress and in his seven-page resignation letter to party president Sonia Gandhi, he mentioned how he felt “deeply hurt” with the way he was treated.

Also read: How Amarinder Singh went from Punjab’s Captain to Captain Cooked

Meanwhile, ruling out the possibility of going back to its earlier alliance partner, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the Punjab BJP instead said it preferred a tie-up with Amarinder, said the party’s state chief Ashwani Sharma.

The announcement to repeal the three contentious farm laws by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened up interesting political possibilities in the state, with the Punjab BJP hoping to shed its image of a “pariah” party and start courting interest of other political outfits for a poll alliance.

But the state unit chief denied any possibility of going back to an alliance with the SAD. Speaking to News18.com, Sharma said: “An alliance is an equal partnership but the SAD was contesting on 84 per cent of the seats last time and BJP chose to remain the second fiddle in the alliance because it was thought out in the benefit of Punjab. But we don’t see any possibility of going back to that alliance.”

Sharma said the announcement of the repeal of the farm laws would make it possible for the big leaders to move around in a more conducive environment. “At the ground level, it was not difficult for the party workers to move around. The big names and known leaders were facing the heat,” said Sharma.

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