Will leave Congress, but not join BJP, says a ‘humiliated’ Amarinder

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on September 30, 2021

Senior leaders in party being sidelined, he said

The Congress high command and the Punjab State unit of the party are gearing to minimise the fall out if former chief minister and senior leader Amarinder Singh leaves the party.

While Singh has asserted he will not join the BJP, sources in the Congress believe neither will he join the AAP, the principal Opposition party in the State. Singh also has no plans to rejuvenate the the Shiromani Akali Dal-Panthi, which he floated, when he left SAD, and merged with the Congress when he joined it.

“He may form a new party with the blessings of the BJP, one does not know. But we are prepared to face any such moves from him,” a Congress leader from the State said. Singh had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday. He met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Thursday.

‘Will not tolerate insult’

“I will not join the BJP (but) I will not stay in the Congress party. I will not be treated in this humiliating manner... I will not take such insults,” he said and added that his principles and beliefs do not allow him to stay in the Congress any longer. Singh stepped down as chief minister recently following a face off with Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was made the Punjab Congress chief.

There are indications that Singh may work as a bridge between the protesting farmers and the BJP ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections. Farmers have been demanding that the three farm reform laws enacted by the Centre should be withdrawn. Singh has been supporting the protests.

Even if the BJP withdraws the farm laws, the party is unlikely to make any inroads in the State without any formidable alliance. The BJP sees an ally in Singh and the meeting between Shah and Singh is considered as a precursor before forming an alliance.

Published on September 30, 2021

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