Chandigarh: As former Punjab Chief Minister and ex-Congress leader Amarinder Singh has opened the office of his new party today in Chandigarh, a month after quitting the grand old party, the 79-year-old said his Punjab Lok Congress would contest the upcoming state polls in partnership with the BJP and that the alliance would be announced soon. However, he refused to elaborate on talks on seat-sharing for the polls due early next year.
“Our party, Sukhdev Dhindsa’s party and BJP will have a seat sharing arrangement. I can’t tell you the exact number,” the Captain said.
“We will have in-principle alliance”.
Asked whether he expected to be the Chief Ministerial candidate of the alliance, he said: “All alliance partners will decide on the Chief Ministerial face.”
The three-time Chief Minister is expected to meet BJP president JP Nadda soon for talks.
He added, “Time is not an issue before elections. In 1980 I was announced as a candidate for the Lok Sabha polls just 14 days before the polls and I won by a margin of over one lakh votes.”
Amarinder Singh quit the Congress weeks after the party replaced him as Chief Minister, favouring his bitter rival Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wish.
Even before he announced his new outfit, he had started discussions with the BJP on a tie-up for the polls. One of his conditions was reportedly the rollback of the three controversial farm laws at the core of the farmer protests.
But long after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the laws would be scrapped, and their repeal in parliament, the farmers say they will continue their protest unless there is a law guaranteeing minimum price for their crop.
“I have requested the farmers that three farm laws have been repealed. For rest of the issues the PM has announced a committee. For Minimum Support Price, (Agriculture Minister Narendra) Tomar has said in parliament that a committee will be formed. Now farmers should accept that commitment of the government,” said Mr Singh.