Punjab: Time for rapprochement is over, says Amarinder Singh

Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reaffirmed plans to launch a new party and said that the time for rapprochement by the Congress is over. He dismissed rumours of talks with the Congress party as incorrect.

The statement was shared by Singh’s aide Raveen Thukral.

Thukral quoted the leader as saying: “reports of backend talks with Congress are incorrect. The time for rapprochement is over. I’m grateful to Sonia Gandhi ji for her support but will not stay in Congress now.”

Singh added that he will soon hold seat-sharing talks with the Bharatiya Janata Party. “I will soon launch my own party and will hold talks for seat sharing with BJP, breakaway Akali factions and others for Punjab elections once farmers’ issue is resolved. I want to build strong collective force in interest of Punjab and its farmers,” Singh said, according to news agency ANI.

Talks of a political arrangement with the BJP had been hinted two days earlier when Singh held his first press conference since he resigned from the CM post last month. During the presser in Chandigarh, the veteran leader said that while his new party will have a seat sharing agreement with the BJP, the question of allying with it remains open.

Singh added that he will not be aligning with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), but only with breakaway Akali groups.

Captain Amarinder Singh resigned as the Chief Minister of Punjab on Sept 18, weeks after reports emerged of a power struggle in the party unit over the appointment of Navjot Singh Sidhu as the state party chief. A month later, the 79-year-old leader announced that he would be launching a new party.

Speaking about the new party, Singh said: “Lawyers are working on finalising the name (of the new party). Let the EC decide. We have made a request for a symbol and name… We will contest on all 117 seats.”

The Punjab Assembly elections are scheduled for early next year.

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