Congress nowhere in picture in Punjab election; his new party’s fight will be with SAD, says Amarinder Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27

Former Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday shared the report card of his tenure of four and a half years as CM.

Addressing a press conference here, he clarified that the conference was convened not to announce his new political outfit but to share the report card of his tenure as CM.

He said he was waiting for approval of the name and symbol of his new party by the Election Commission and would announce it once that is done.

He said many Congressmen would join him once the party was formed. Claiming that many senior Congress leaders were in touch with him, he said his party would fight on all 117 seats.

He said the Congress is nowhere in the picture in Punjab and their fight would be with the Shiromani Akali Dal. He said ever since Navjot Sidhu joined the Congress, the popularity graph of the Congress had dropped by 25 per cent.

He said he never talked about an alliance with the BJP but seat-sharing with it or other parties. “I have been with the Congress for 52 years, but will leave it in the coming days,” he said.

On the issue of farmers’ agitation, he said he was talking to the Union Home Minister and not to farmers. “It was the Union Home minister who was talking to the farmer unions. I will be meeting the Union Home Minister on this issue besides meeting the National Security Advisor,” he said.

He contradicted claims of the Congress that 78 MLAs had signed for his ouster. He said rather 78 MLAs had written in his favour.

Sharing a booklet of the achievements, the former CM said that by the time the government would complete its term in March 2022, everything would have been done, barring certain things.

Without naming any minister, Amarinder said it was petty politics to say that nothing had been done in four and a half years.

Hitting out at the ministers who had been questioning him on security concerns regarding Pakistan, he said as CM and Home Minister for nine years, he was well aware of the nefarious designs of the cross-border narco terrorism.

Talking about the drones being sent from across the border, he said the drones were coming up to 31 kilometres inside. He said the increase in the jurisdiction of the BSF in this regard was misconceived by his critics.

He said the BSF is not to take over Punjab but assist Punjab Police in checking the cross-border terrorism.

On Pakistani Aroosa Alam, he said she had been coming here for 16 years and Sukhjinder Randhawa never objected to her presence. He said he was open to a CBI, Income Tax or ED probe into the allegations of her taking money out of the country.

Congress nowhere in picture in Punjab election; his new party’s fight will be with SAD, says Amarinder Singh