My only condition for an alliance with the BJP was the resolution of the farmers’ agitation, former Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh said about his new party’s alliance with the saffron party. “I have already met the Home Minister and spoken to him about an alliance. On Saturday, I hope to see the BJP president,” he told NDTV, hinting that a formal announcement could be expected soon. Rubbishing swipes from the Congress that he doesn’t actually have any MLAs supporting him, he said many Congress MLAs are eager to join him and are just waiting for the model code of conduct to be enforced.
The former Congress leader had to unceremoniously resign as the state Chief Minister last month after a rebellion from his fellow MLAs following a crisis in the Punjab unit of the Congress party. He then announced his own party called the Punjab Lok Congress and said it would contest all 117 assembly seats in the upcoming assembly elections. He now says the seats are not confirmed yet as it will be shared between his party, BJP, and the Dhindsa faction of the Akalis.
Captain Singh didn’t reveal any numbers when asked how many MLAs have approached him but said that three to four people are approaching them every day, even when his party’s office is not ready yet. “We already have 30-40 applicants, and I can’t reveal the numbers of sitting MLAs and MPs who are with us,” Mr Singh said, adding that leaders from all parties, and not just the Congress, are approaching him.
“First, let’s see who they (Congress) give tickets to. Punjab Congress president Mr (Navjot Singh) Sidhu has said 35 new faces will be given tickets. We will see if any of those people fit the bill, I know them better than he does,” Mr Singh said.