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Updated on: Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 08:18 PM IST

Former Punjab CM Amarinder slams ‘petty’ Punjab politics, hits out at Navjot Singh Sidhu

Amarinder hit out at the Congress, saying many people from the party were in touch.
Former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh  | Photo: File Image

Former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh | Photo: File Image

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Chandigarh: Brimming with confidence, Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday laid bare the roadmap of his future party at a glitzy hotel here. A late riser, Amarinder is famous for being late, but he was minutes earlier this time, surprising all.

Declaring that he would launch his new party as soon as the Election Commission clears the name and the symbol, Amarinder hit out at the Congress, saying many people from the party were in touch.

While no loyalist from the Congress was present at the meet to declare support for him, Amarinder said they would come out in the open when the right time comes.

“We are waiting for the opportune moment. But I will not take their names yet. Already, my supporters are being harassed,” Amarinder said.

Asked how many legislators 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?”

As to why he had not resigned yet from the party, Amarinder responded, “I have spent 50 years in the Congress, how does it manner if I stay for another 10 days?”

Taking on his detractors, particularly state Congress president Navjot Sidhu and deputy chief minister Sukhjinder Randhawa, Amarinder slammed them for indulging in petty and personal issues. “We will fight and defeat Sidhu from wherever he contests the upcoming assembly polls,” he declared, adding that since Sidhu had taken over as Congress president, there had been a 25 percent drop in the party’s popularity, as per his surveys.

Trashing allegations against his Pakistani friend Aroosa Alam, the 79-year-old political-battle-hardened Amarinder termed as baseless the charges of money being sent out by her to him to contest the assembly polls.

“Is Aroosa the only issue left in Punjab?” he asked while questioning the intention of Randhawa in raising the issue now after never raking it up all these years. Aroosa had been visiting him for 16 years and he would invite her again, he added.

Randhawa had accused Aroosa of being an ISI agent a few days ago, raising a political storm in Punjab. Her reaction to the controversy along with some pictures was given to The Free Press Journal on Saturday, sending the political fraternity in the state into a tizzy and forcing Amarinder’s media team to release more pictures of her with politicians across various parties, including the BJP, on his Facebook page.

Clarifying that he had never spoken of aligning with the BJP in the polls due early next year, Amarinder said what he wanted was seat-sharing with the saffron party. “In military parleys, it means concentration of forces,” he remarked, adding that he had, however, not yet talked to the BJP on it. Dismissing as trash Sidhu’s tweet accusing him of being more loyal to the BJP than the Congress, he said the thought of seat-sharing with the BJP came to his mind only after he was forced out of office.

Trashing allegations of not delivering during the four years and five months of his rule, Amarinder listed out various works completed by his government and said the Charanjit Channi government was merely implementing what we had decided to do. “All the work we started is simply being carried forward,” he pointed out.

Amarinder claimed leading corporate houses had invested in Punjab and the farmers’ agitation had not had impacted investments in the state while he was chief minister. He also shared with the media a booklet titled “Facts v/s Disinformation”, detailing achievements of his government from March 2017 to September 18, 2021.

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Published on: Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 08:18 PM IST
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