Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has finally laid down his plan for the upcoming Punjab state elections. The disgruntled Congressman has said that he will float his own party and tie up with the BJP and breakaway factions of the Akali Dal.
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Speaking with ThePrint, Singh tried to justify his decision to go with the BJP. He said the ongoing farmers’ agitation over three central farm laws could end soon as the Centre heads towards a resolution to the vexed issue. However, the alliance with the BJP will rest on “a satisfactory resolution of the farm laws issue”, clarified the former CM.
Besides joining hands with the BJP, Singh said he will tie up with the splinter groups of the Shiromani Akali Dal, especially the Dhindsa and Brahmpura factions. When asked if he sees an ideological conflict in going with the BJP, Amarinder Singh said he stood “for Punjab” and had a clear target to form the next government in the state.
Amarinder Singh quit Congress last month after he was unceremoniously removed as the chief minister. He then met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval which triggered speculation about his joining the saffron party. Singh clarified after meeting Shah that he won’t join the BJP.
When asked about charges against the BJP of being a communal party, Singh said he doesn’t think BJP is communal or anti-Muslim. “Do you see any problem in Punjab between the Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus,” he asked during the interview.
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Amarinder Singh said the ISI and Khalistani sleeper cells are trying to revive militancy in Punjab and said he was alarmed at the rate at which weapons are reaching the state, mostly by way of drone technology.
He said he met NSA Ajit Doval to express his worries about militancy returning to Punjab. The former CM said that farmers’ agitation needs to end at the earliest so that the farmers’ bitterness doesn’t turn young people into “recruits”.