Former Punjab Chief Minister and Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh yesterday (19 October) announced that he would launch his political party. Rumours that the former Congress leader would do so were making rounds for a while.
Singh, sworn-in as the chief minister of Punjab in 2017 after the Congress party came out victorious with 77 seats, was forced into an ungracious exit last month by the INC high command who purportedly chose Navjot Singh Sidhu's side. He had quit as CM saying that he had been “humiliated”.
Amarinder said he was willing to work with like-minded parties, including BJP and the breakaway Akali Dal groups. Speculations are rife that an alliance with the BJP is on the cards.
Singh was quoted as saying by his media adviser Raveen Thukral on Twitter:
“The battle for Punjab’s future is on. Will soon announce the launch of my own political party to serve the interests of Punjab & its people, including our farmers who’ve been fighting for their survival for over a year."
In another tweet, he said, “Hopeful of a seat arrangement with @BJP4India in 2022 Punjab Assembly polls if farmers protest is resolved in farmers’ interest. Also looking at alliance with like-minded parties such as breakaway Akali groups, particularly 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 peace and security, which is today at stake,” he added.
This would not be the first time that Amarinder would be launching his own party. In 1984, he resigned from Parliament and from the Congress party over Operation Blue Star. He, then, joined the Shiromani Akali Dal, and also served as a minister in the SAD government.
In 1992, he broke away from the Akali Dal and formed Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthic). However, he faced a crushing defeat in the next assembly elections. In his own constituency, Singh got only 856 votes.
Subsequently, he merged with the Congress party in 1998.
The 79-year-old son of the last king of the erstwhile state of Patiala, Singh joined the Indian Army in 1963 and served in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965, as part of the Sikh regiment.
Singh is also known for his literary bend. He has reportedly penned several books on war and Sikh history, including his memoir of the 1965 Indo-Pak war.
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