Amid anticipation of his next political move, ex-Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh departed from Chandigarh for the national capital on Wednesday.
Amid anticipation of his next political move, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh departed from Chandigarh for the national capital on Wednesday. In his second visit to Delhi since stepping down as the CM, he is likely to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah and PM Modi. This assumes significance as sources told Republic TV earlier that Singh might float a new party based on the broad theme of ‘security of the state and the nation’ and have a tacit understanding with like-minded parties in the 2022 Punjab Assembly polls.
On September 29, he set the rumour mills abuzz by meeting Amit Shah at the latter’s residence in Delhi. Officially commenting on the meeting, the Congress leader mentioned, “Discussed the prolonged farmers’ agitation against farm laws and urged him to resolve the crisis urgently with the repeal of the laws and guarantee MSP, besides supporting Punjab in crop diversification”. A day later, he met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to discuss security-related issues. After returning to Punjab on the same day, Singh announced that he will leave Congress but not join BJP.
Congress pushes Amarinder Singh to the brink
Amid the infighting between Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu, the situation escalated after Congress summoned a Legislative Party meeting at 5 pm on September 18 without keeping the Punjab CM in the loop. Amid growing speculation that Singh will be ousted, the latter tendered his resignation to Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit at about 4.30 pm on the same day owing to “humiliation”. Speaking exclusively to Republic Media Network’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, Singh asserted that he would remain active in politics.
On October 1, AICC Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat strongly countered the charge that he was humiliated by Congress. Contending that his “closeness” to BJP leaders raises a question mark on his “secular credentials”, Rawat asserted in a press briefing that Congress always treated him with respect. Justifying the need for a change of guard in Punjab, he opined that Singh had failed to act on the 18-point formula in a time-bound manner leading to discontent among a large section of Congress MLAs. Moreover, he urged the former Punjab CM to not help BJP directly or indirectly.
“Maintaining that he had fulfilled 90% of the promises made in the 2017 Congress manifesto, Singh responded, “If the party did not intend to humiliate me, then why was Navjot Singh Sidhu allowed to openly criticise and attack me on social media and other public platforms for months? Why did the party give the rebels, led by Sidhu, a free hand in undermining my authority? Why was no cognizance given to the uninterrupted spree of electoral wins I handed over to the party through the 4 and a half years I was in the saddle?”