Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced that he will form a political party of his own before the assembly elections in the state, but refused to divulge any more details about it. Singh was interacting with the media in Chandigarh.
“Yes, I am forming a party. My lawyers are working on it. But I can’t tell you the name, I will tell you when the Election Commission approves it. We have made a request for a symbol also,” said Singh.
The move is on the expected lines, as Singh had said last week that he would soon launch his own party, and was hopeful of a seat arrangement with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) provided the ongoing farmers’ stir against farm laws was resolved in their interest.
“We are going to meet home minister Amit Shah on the issue of farmers’ stir. I have met him thrice earlier,” the Congress leader said today.
Singh said he will meet the Union home minister in Delhi on Thursday “along with 25-30 people” to discuss the Centre’s three farm laws. Those expected to accompany him include three-four state leaders and farm experts.
The two-time former chief minister also lashed out at current incumbent Charanjit Singh Channi, who said that the state government will move Supreme Court against the Centre’s decision to increase the jurisdiction of Border Security Force (BSF).
“Taking over Punjab is a total misconception. No one is taking over the states. This is to tackle drones. The technology is getting advanced and payloads of drones are increasing. To undermine these concerns is irresponsible,” said Singh.
“I am not an alarmist but I know what is happening. Don’t deny this, but tackle it,” he added.
Taking a jibe at deputy chief minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa for the recent allegations against him on the security situation, the Congress leader said that he has been home minister for 9.5 years and knows the situation. “Someone who has been home minister for one month seems to talk as if he knows more than me.”
Singh is still to formally quit the Congress. When asked about it at the press conference today, he said, “I have been in the Congress for 52 years, if I stay in it for 10 more days what will happen.”
He once again targeted Navjot Singh Sidhu, with whom he fought a long political battle.
“Congress’ popularity in Punjab has seen a drop of 25 per cent ever since Sidhu has taken over,” Singh said at the press conference today, quoting data from surveys got done by him.
He also said that he will fight Sidhu in the Assembly elections “wherever he fights from”.
Singh was made to resign as the chief minister on September 18 following months turbulence and tussle in the state unit during which Sidhu, who was appointed the state Congress president despite Singh’s objections, and several ministers and legislators rebelled against him.
Assembly elections are due in Punjab next year.