Amarinder Singh announces alliance with BJP for Punjab polls
Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday announced an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He made the announcement after meeting top BJP leaders in Delhi. Singh had hinted at partnering with the saffron party after he quit the Congress—his party of four decades. Meanwhile, talks about a seat-sharing arrangement between Singh's Punjab Lok Congress and the BJP are underway.
Singh met Gajendra Singh Shekhawat
Singh tweeted pictures of his meeting with Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the BJP's Punjab in-charge. "Met union minister & @BJP4India incharge for Punjab, Shri @gssjodhpur in New Delhi today to chalk out future course of action ahead of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections. We have formally announced a seat adjustment with the BJP for the 2022 Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections (sic)," he wrote.
'Will win the elections 101%'
"We will see who will contest where - our criteria for seat selection is purely winnability," Singh told reporters in Delhi. "The alliance will definitely, 101 percent win the elections (sic)," he added.
Singh's exit from Congress
Singh, 79, was unceremoniously replaced as Punjab CM by Charanjit Singh Channi in September. His exit followed months of a bitter feud with Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. Singh then held talks with Home Minister Amit Shah and other BJP leaders over a possible alliance. Last month, the withdrawal of the central government's contentious farm laws all but confirmed their partnership.
BJP to play big brother?
Now the BJP is looking to negotiate a senior partner status in the alliance with debutant Punjab Lok Congress, NDTV reported citing sources. Notably, the former enjoys little following in Punjab and has always been a small player in the state's politics.
A tough battle for Punjab
Punjab will likely go to polls in February-March 2022. While the ruling Congress appeared to have an upper hand till just a few months ago, the contest has lately become increasingly multifaceted. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is putting up a tough fight. Besides, former BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has tied up with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).