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Amarinder’s New Party: Had Said All Along, Says Punjab Min; BJP Welcomes Move

The BJP welcomed the announcement, calling Amarinder Singh “the tallest leader of Punjab”.

Updated
India
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Amarinder Singh&nbsp;had dismissed the possibility of joining forces with the BJP last month after his meeting with Union Minister Amit Shah. Image used for representational purpose.&nbsp;</p></div>
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The announcement by Punjab's former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday that he will form a new political party and was open to partnering with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other "like-minded parties," has been received with a lot of criticism.

Punjab minister Pargat Singh on Tuesday hit out at Singh, "I had said all along that Captain is in bed with the BJP and Akali Dal. He used to get his agenda from the BJP."

Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat too said, "If he wants to eat crow and go with BJP, he can. Who can stop him if he can't stay with his old commitment to secularism? He was considered a symbol of 'Sarvdharm Sambhav' and connected to Congress' traditions for long. If he wants to go, he should."

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Amarinder Singh had said that if the farmers' protest is resolved, he will consider a "seat arrangement" with the BJP and breakaway Akali groups ahead of next year's assembly elections in the state. Incidentally, he had dismissed the possibility of joining forces with the BJP last month after his meeting with Union Minister Amit Shah.

Amarinder’s New Party: Had Said All Along, Says Punjab Min; BJP Welcomes Move

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ @RT_Media_Capt)

"Who can forgive BJP that has kept farmers at the borders for 10 months? Can Punjab forgive them for the manner in which farmers' agitation has been dealt with? His statement is really shocking. It seems he has killed the 'secular Amarinder' within him," Rawat told ANI.

Singh is still with the Congress but had stepped down from the top post in September, by alleging "humiliation" by the Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu and other party MLAs.

The party's central leadership is yet to comment on the issue.

Maanmohan Singh Pahujaa, the National Co-coordinator of Congress, hinted at how the party was right in the way it dealt with Singh considering he is proposing joining hands with the BJP.

Amarinder’s New Party: Had Said All Along, Says Punjab Min; BJP Welcomes Move

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ @MaanmohanSinghPahujaa)

'Tallest Leader of Punjab:' BJP

The BJP welcomed the announcement, calling Amarinder Singh “the tallest leader of Punjab”.

Subhash Verma, the general secretary of the Punjab BJP, said Singh joining hands with them would be good for the party as "he is the tallest leader in Punjab," as of now.

Dinesh Kumar, organisational secretary of the Punjab BJP, said: “He (Singh) is a senior leader and he was humiliated by his party. If he desires to form his own party and extend support to the BJP, we welcome his decision. Leaders like him have a mass following and parties should know how to give them due respect. It is sad that the Congress insulted such a tall leader who was the face of the 2017 Vidhan Sabha polls in Punjab, and because of whom the Congress got a thumping majority,” reported The Indian Express.

The state BJP confirmed that they have not received a call from him yet.

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