Former Punjabi chief minister Amarinder Singh said on Wednesday he would launch his new political party when the electoral commission clears the name and symbol, and said many people in Congress were in contact with him.
“I’m a party. But I can’t tell you the name yet. When the Election Commission (EC) approves the name and symbol, only then can I tell you. Let’s wait for the EC to approve,” a- he said at his first press conference after stepping down as chief minister last month.
He also said he would meet with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday to continue his efforts to address the problems of farmers protesting the Center’s three new agricultural laws.
Singh had resigned from his post as Chief Minister of the Punjab amid a bitter power struggle with the leader of the Punjab Congress, Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Responding to a question, Singh claimed that many people in Congress have been in contact with him and will come out openly when the time comes.
Obviously a lot of people are with us. We are waiting for the opportune moment. But I won’t name their names because my supporters are already being harassed, he said.
When asked how many MPs were in contact with him, the former CM replied: If Rahul Gandhi needs to have back-to-back meetings with MPs from the Punjab Congress, what does that mean?
Not having resigned from Congress yet, he said: I spent 50 years in Congress, what if I stay 10 more days?
Singh had said last week that he would launch his own party soon and hoped for a seat adjustment with the BJP on the condition that the current farmer unrest is resolved in their best interests.
He also claimed he never talked about aligning with the BJP and all he wanted was seat sharing.
In military jargon, this means concentration of forces, he said while specifying that he had not yet spoken to the Saffron party on this subject.
The leader further stated that he did not intend to align himself with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), but only with the Akali splinter groups.
Asked about the reported refusal of SAD (Sanyukt) chief Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa to bond with him, he said: If Dhindsa is to fight a real fight, he will also have to concentrate his forces.
To defeat Congress, SAD and AAP, we must all work together, he said.
Meanwhile, Sidhu did another dig in Singh and called it the negative force blocking development in Punjab.
“We, the 78 congressmen, could never imagine what we received from a loyal Punjab Chief Minister of the Punjab, controlled by ED, who sold the Punjab interests to save his skin! You were the force! negative which holds justice and development in Punjab, ”Sidhu tweeted.
Singh, however, called the tweet trash and said the idea of sharing a seat with the BJP only came to his mind after he was forced to step down.
States must work with the Center to function effectively, he stressed.
“We will fight and beat Sidhu wherever he contests the next parliamentary elections,” he said.
The former CM also alleged that since Mr Sidhu took the stage (took the reins of the Punjab Congress), our surveys show that there has been a decline of around 25% in Congress popularity.
Rejecting Congress assertions of a majority of party MPs who opposed his staying in power, he said: Once they (the party leadership) decided to replace me, all those excuses were done.
He added that Congress’ so-called 18-point agenda for his government was only part of the 2017 Punjab manifesto, adding that the Kharge committee, formed by the party to end factionalism, had clearly learned that 92% of the poll’s promises were kept.
Singh also rejected the allegations against his Pakistani friend Aroosa Alam.
Even though he asked if Alam was the only issue left in Punjab, he questioned (Sukhjinder) Randhawa’s intention to raise the issue now after never mentioning it all these years.
Singh claimed that Alam had been visiting him for 16 years and would definitely invite him again.
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa recently said an investigation would be carried out to determine whether Alam, a Pakistani journalist who has been visiting Amarinder Singh for several years, has ties to the Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Amarinder Singh then shared with the media a brochure titled “Facts v / s Disinformation,” detailing his government’s accomplishments from March 2017 to September 18, 2021.
On political issues he will prioritize in the elections, the former CM said a manifesto committee would finalize the same.
The Punjab heads to the polls early next year.