A day after Amarinder Singh said he would launch a new outfit and hoped to tie up with the BJP for the Punjab election, his “friend request” has been accepted. “We are ready for an alliance with Captain Amarinder Singh,” said the BJP’s Punjab in-charge Dushyant Gautam today.
“Our doors are open for an alliance, though only our parliamentary board can take the decision,” Mr Gautam said. He said the BJP was always ready to join hands with outfits that are nationalistic, concerned about the country and concerned about national security.
Amarinder Singh, forced by the Congress to quit as Punjab Chief Minister last month, declared in tweets on Tuesday that he will form a new political party, confirming what he had told NDTV about leaving the Congress, his party of four decades.
He also said if the farmers’ protest is resolved, he will consider a “seat arrangement” with the BJP and breakaway Akali groups for the assembly elections four months away. The Captain had earlier denied joining forces with the BJP after his recent meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah set off speculation.
He tweeted yesterday: “Hopeful of a seat arrangement with BJP in 2022 Punjab Assembly polls if #FarmersProtest is resolved in farmers’ interest. Also looking at alliance with like-minded parties such as breakaway Akali groups, particularly Dhindsa & Brahmpura factions.”
The BJP said despite differences with Amarinder Singh when he was Chief Minister in the Congress government, it had common concerns. “We opposed him when he spoke against the welfare of the people of Punjab. But when it came to national security or border security, we kept praising him. He has been a soldier. We believe he is a good patriot,” Mr Gautam said.
He added: “Farmers are with us today too. We have been fighting for farmers’ welfare earlier too. Amarinder Singh is also talking about farmers’ welfare. We will sit together and discuss how to resolve this protest.”
Though there is no official comment from the party on Mr Singh’s tweets, a Punjab minister, Pargat Singh, said, “I had already said that the Captain is allied with BJP and Akali Dal, he used to get his agenda from the BJP”.
Mr Singh, a two-time Punjab Chief Minister, quit the top post in September after complaining of repeated “humiliation” by his party amid a dragging feud with Navjot Singh Sidhu.