Amarinder announces new political outfit

by IANS |

Chandigarh, Oct 27 (IANS) 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.

"Punjab needs political stability and protection from internal and external threats. I promise my people that I will do what it takes to ensure peace and security, which is today at stake," read an earlier tweet by Amarinder Singh.

Since his resignation as the Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh has been targeting state Congress President Navjot Sidhu by publically saying that he would fight his possible elevation to the Chief Ministership tooth and nail, and is ready to make any sacrifice to save the country from such a "dangerous man".

He has also claimed that the Gandhi siblings (Priyanka and Rahul) were "quite inexperienced" and "their advisors were clearly misguiding them".

After months of infighting within the Congress, Amarinder Singh had submitted his resignation as Chief Minister on September 18.

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