Former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Announces New Political Outfit

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Amarinder Singh said the name of the party, which could have an alliance with the BJP, would be announced later after consulting the Election Commission of India. — IANS

Amarinder Singh hit out at the Congress, saying many people from the party were in touch with him and they will come out in the open when the time comes..

CHANDIGARH — Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced the launch of his own political party, ahead of the Assembly elections slated for early next year.

However, he said the name of the party, which could have an alliance with the BJP, would be announced later after consulting the Election Commission of India.

Amarinder Singh told the media here that he would be meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday regarding issues concerning the state. This would be his third meeting with him in recent days.

The former two-time Chief Minister favoured the deployment of the BSF up to 50 km of the India-Pakistan border, saying this was required for the security of the state.

On his resignation from the Congress, he replied: “I have been in the Congress for the past 52 years. If I can’t resign for the next 10 days, what is the harm to it.”

Earlier, responding to personal attacks by his former Congress colleagues, Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said: “From personal attacks they’ve now stooped to threats and harassment of my supporters in Patiala and elsewhere.

“Let me tell my rivals they can’t defeat me with such low-level political games. They will neither win votes nor people’s hearts with such tactics.”

He added: “Those who have stood by me have done so because they believe in and want to continue working for Punjab’s peace and development. They will not be scared away by such petty acts of intimidation or persecution. We will continue to fight for Punjab’s future.”

Formally saying goodbye to the Congress which made him the Chief Minister of Punjab twice and the state party President thrice, an “upset” Amarinder Singh last week said that he would soon announce the launch of his own political party to serve the interests of the people, including the farmers who’ve been fighting for their rights for over a year now.

He also said he is hopeful of a seat-sharing arrangement with the BJP for next year’s Assembly elections in the state, if the farmers’ issues are resolved in their interest.

He added that he would not rest until he can secure the future of his people and his state.

After his resignation, Amarinder Singh held meetings with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, triggering speculation he could join the BJP.

Many Congressmen in touch with me: Amarinder

Declaring that he would launch his new party as soon as the Election Commission clears the name and the symbol, former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh hit out at the Congress, saying many people from the party were in touch with him and they will come out in the open when the time comes.

“We are waiting for the opportune moment. But I will not take their names. Already my supporters are being harassed,” said Amarinder Singh, addressing his first press conference after stepping down as Chief Minister.

Asked how many MLAs were in touch with him, he quipped, “if Rahul Gandhi needs to have back-to-back meetings with Punjab Congress MLAs, what does it mean?” — IANS

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