Ahead of Punjab polls Amarinder Singh meets PM Modi and Shah, talks of alliance
Punjab -On Tuesday, former Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh said he had met and was in talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah regarding formation of an alliance with BJP ahead of next year’s Assembly elections in Punjab. In an exclusive interview with NDTV, Captain said, “I have already met the Home Minister and spoken to him about an alliance. On Saturday, I hope to see the BJP president.” He added that his only condition to form an alliance with Bharatiya Janata Party was resolution of farmers’ agitation that was met with repealing of the three controversial farm laws by government.
Confirming that now a formal alliance with BJP can be discussed and worked now, Amarinder Singh rubbished digs by Congress party that he doesn’t really have any support from MLAs. He added that many MLA s from Congress party are willing and rather eager to join him, just waiting enforcement of model code of conduct. Amarinder Singh had exited Congress party and resigned as Chief Minister of Punjab after a tiff with party’s high command in Delhi over appointment of Navjot Singh Sidhu as state party head.
Chief Minister of Punjab Charanjit Singh Channi took a jibe at Amarinder Singh saying that his alliance with BJP will damage his chances in Assembly polls as the party doesn’t have support in the state. Responding to the comment, Amarinder Singh said, “As of today, our own feedback is that there’s a total swing towards the BJP. Many Hindus are supporting the BJP and my party. There are 36% Hindus in Punjab and we are going to take up that chunk, more than the Congress. Hopefully, we will also get a lot of support from farmers.”
Singh said on BJP’s communal tone that communalism is never a problem in Punjab and that Akali Dal had alliance with BJP two decades back. “I have never been involved in any way in any communal business, especially in Punjab. This has been one state where we call ourselves members of Punjabiyat, which means all the religions are part of one family,” he said.
On status of MLAs with him ahead of next year’s Assembly elections, Singh said, “We already have 30-40 applicants, and I can’t reveal the numbers of sitting MLAs and MPs who are with us.” He added, “First, let’s see who they (Congress) give tickets to. Punjab Congress president Mr (Navjot Singh) Sidhu has said 35 new faces will be given tickets. We will see if any of those people fit the bill, I know them better than he does.”
In early 2022, Punjab Assembly will go to polls for 117 seats. The dates are yet to be announced by the Election Commission, but expectation is election would be held around January -February.