Not one to miss an offer of friendship when it comes from none other than once rival and Congress veteran Amarinder Singh, the BJP has pounced upon the opportunity to shake hands with the bitter Captain as he readies to take on the Grand Old Party in Punjab after announcing plans to quit its ranks.
“We are ready for an alliance with Captain Amarinder Singh,” BJP’s Punjab in-charge Dushyant Gautam was on Wednesday quoted as saying by the media, a day after Singh finally laid down his cards and said he would float his own party and tie up with the BJP and breakaway factions of the Akali Dal. The Captain, 79, was last month forced by the Congress to quit as Punjab chief minister amid much humiliation for him, and internal rift in the party’s state unit.
“Our doors are open for an alliance, though only our parliamentary board can take the decision,” Gautam added. “We opposed him when he spoke against the welfare of the people of Punjab. But when it came to national security or border security, we kept praising him. He has been a soldier. We believe he is a good patriot.”
He added: “We have been fighting for farmers’ welfare earlier too. Amarinder Singh is also talking about farmers’ welfare. We will sit together and discuss how to resolve this protest.”
Singh had a few weeks ago met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, triggering speculation that he would join the saffron party and leave the Congress, his party of four decades.
But the former CM’s media adviser tweeted on Tuesday: “Hopeful of a seat arrangement with BJP in 2022 Punjab Assembly polls if #FarmersProtest is resolved in farmers’ interest. Also looking at alliance with like-minded parties such as breakaway Akali groups, particularly Dhindsa & Brahmpura factions,” and that “I will not rest till I can secure the future of my people and my state. Punjab needs political stability and protection from internal & external threats. I promise my people I will do what it takes to ensure its peace and security, which is today at stake: Amarinder Singh.”