The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will contest 65 seats, Captain Amarinder Singh's Punjab Lok Congress 37 seats and Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt) 15 seats in the upcoming Punjab assembly polls, said BJP national president JP Nadda on Monday.
Hailing Punjab as a "leader", especially in defence and food security of the country, he said, "Today Punjab needs special attention, it needs a double engine government and a better coordination between the Centre and the state." "This election is for stability and safety. Our motto is to bring back Punjab on track," he added. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constituted SIT to probe the 1984 riots & today accused are in jails. We will abolish 'Mafia Raj' in Punjab," he further said.
Speaking at the same conference, Amarinder Singh said for the sake of national security and welfare of the state, all three parties have come together.
Attacking Navjot Singh Sidhu, Singh claimed he had got a message from Pakistan to reinstate the cricketer-turned-politician in his government because he was an old friend of their prime minister. Singh said he was told that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will be grateful if he can keep Sidhu in the government.
"After I dropped Navjot Sidhu from my government, I got a message from Pakistan that he is an old friend of their prime minister and he would be grateful if you can keep him in the government. If he (Sidhu) doesn't work, then you can remove him," Singh said.
Earlier on Sunday, Singh announced his decision to fight from his home constituency of Patiala Urban. His party released the first list of 22 candidates for polls.
Meanwhile, BJP has also announced its first list of 34 candidates for the Punjab assembly polls.
Punjab will go to the polls on February 20. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.
In the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, Congress won an absolute majority in the state by winning 77 seats and ousted the SAD-BJP government after 10 years.
Aam Aadmi Party emerged as the second-largest party winning 20 seats in 117-member Punjab Legislative Assembly. The SAD could only manage to win 15 seats while the BJP secured 3 seats.
(With ANI and PTI inputs)