Amarinder to form own party, 'hopeful' of pact with BJP

Amarinder Singh to float his own party soon, 'hopeful' of pact with BJP

He also said he was looking at alliance with like-minded parties such as break-away Akali groups, particularly the Dhindsa and Brahmpura factions

Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. Credit: PTI Photo

Ousted as Punjab chief minister by the Congress last month, Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday night announced that he will launch a new party and hopefully enter into a "seat arrangement" with the BJP in the next year's Assembly elections if the saffron party manages to resolve the farmers' protest.

Singh's decision was made public by a series of tweets by his media adviser Raveen Thukral.

"The battle for Punjab’s future is on. Will soon announce the launch of my own political party to serve the interests of Punjab and its people, including our farmers who’ve been fighting for their survival for over a year," Tukral quoted Singh as saying.

Singh said he was "hopeful of a seat arrangement with the BJP in 2022 Punjab Assembly polls if farmers' protest is resolved in farmers’ interest".

He also said he was looking at alliance with like-minded parties such as break-away Akali groups, particularly the Dhindsa and Brahmpura factions. "I will not rest till I can secure the future of my people and my state. Punjab needs political stability and protection from internal and external threats. I promise my people I will do what it takes to ensure its peace and security, which is today at stake," he said.

Singh had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on September 29 amid political buzz that he may join hands with the BJP but then the meeting was described as one in which the veteran leader gave suggestions for ending the farmers' protest and security situation in Punjab.

He was ousted as chief minister following a sustained campaign by Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had the support of the Gandhi siblings Rahul and Priyanka and was replaced by Charanjit Singh Channi.

The 79-year-old two-time chief minister had then said that he was "humiliated" by the Congress and had launched a tirade against Sidhu saying he was detrimental to the interests of the Congress and the country.

Son of Maharaja Sir Yadavindra Singh and Maharani Mohinder Kaur of Patiala belonging to the Phulkian dynasty, Singh was inducted into the Congress by Rajiv Gandhi and was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980. He resigned from Lok Sabha and Congress in protest against Operation Blue Star and joined the Akali Dal. He then became an Akali Dal MLA and was a minister in the state government.

However in 1992, he split from the Akali Dal and formed his own party Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthic). It later merged with the Congress in 1998.

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