Not worried about Captain Amarinder’s plans, he is being forced: Congress

A day after former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced that he will launch his own political party and may ally with the BJP if the farmers’ protest is resolved, the Congress said on Wednesday that it was not “worried” about his exit and future political moves.

The party high command, however, took stock of the situation. AICC general secretary in charge of the state, Harish Rawat, met former party president Rahul Gandhi and briefed him about the developments.

“In the Congress, nobody is worried about his exit. Because people had already realised that he is a ‘gone case’ and that he is hand in glove with the Opposition – be it Akalis or anyone else. Even the Congress workers in Punjab used to say that his government was an extension of the Akali Dal government… that his government is Akali-3. Politicians, not just Congress politicians, everyone would say that he was under some compulsions and is being pressured by the central government,” Rawat told The Indian Express. “So his statement only confirms the suspicion that many people had,” he said.

Rawat said Singh’s “behaviour” shows there is “strong arm-twisting from someone”.

“And because of that, he is doing all this. Otherwise, for years, he had stood firm with an ideology… the Congress ideology… his fight now cannot be for any post… he is already 80… so there is something… because of which he is getting ready to compromise his secular credentials and is acting like a spokesperson of the BJP,” he said.

But the Congress did not seem inclined to take any disciplinary action against him. “We are watching how far he goes… We don’t want to make any move which will force him to quit and join hands with the BJP. If he decides on his own to join hands with the BJP… no one is going to stop him. If a person decides to indulge in political harakiri, what can we do,” said Rawat.

Rawat said the BJP, which is discredited in Punjab because of the farm laws, wants a “mask” while “Singh is looking for an excuse (bahana) to join hands with the BJP and is using the farmers’ protest for that”.

“So many farmers died… where was he… trampling voice is one thing… they have trampled farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri…was Captain there? Why didn’t he fight against the BJP… The BJP wants to get out of the Punjab mess which they have created. Singh is handy for them. And he is offering his services,” he said.

Asked whether the Congress would reach out to Singh, Rawat said Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had met Singh. “The fact of the matter is there are some compulsions… the way a Pakistani citizen was living as his guest… the central government has something…” he said.

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