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Will form next government in Punjab with BJP, breakaway Akali faction, says Amarinder Singh

Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Parliament House in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday said his party will form the next government in the State along with the BJP and a breakaway Akali faction as he held a surprise meeting with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar here.

Amarinder Singh described his meeting with the Haryana CM a courtesy call.

 

“There was no political development. I had a very nice cup of coffee with the Chief Minister,” said the former Punjab CM after meeting Mr. Khattar, a senior BJP leader.

However, when asked whether "big faces" will join his party Punjab Lok Congress ahead of the Assembly elections, he said, “Wait for the time. Everything is going fine. People are very upbeat and our membership drive is going good.” “God willing, we and with our seat adjustment with the BJP and with Mr. (Sukhdev Singh) Dhindsa party (SAD Sanyukt), we will form the government,” he said.

Amarinder Singh had quit the Congress following his resignation as the Punjab CM after a bitter power tussle with State Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.

His meeting with Mr. Khattar came on a day when a bill to repeal the three contentious laws, against which farmers have been protesting for over a year, was passed by Parliament.

“I have met the Chief Minister does not mean that when you meet someone it is political something. This is just a normal courtesy call,” he told reporters replying to a query on any talk of an alliance with the BJP.

In the photographs of their meeting released by the Haryana Government, Mr. Khattar is seen receiving Amarinder Singh with a warm hug.

Asked if he will meet BJP leaders for a seat sharing arrangement for the Punjab elections, the former Punjab CM said he will go to Delhi and certainly call on them.

Replying to a question on the farm laws, he said, “Everything is now over. The three bills (laws) have been repealed by Parliament.” The former CM said the Centre has agreed to other six to seven issues raised by farmers. “So, there is no issue left,” said Mr. Singh.

On the farmers' demand for the withdrawal of police cases against protesters, he said the Centre will take a look at these cases.

Definitely, States of Haryana and Punjab, where cases have been registered, will see and withdraw them, he added.

To a question on the registration of his party, Mr. Singh said they should get information regarding it any time.

The registration of the party was pending approval with the Election Commission of India.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 3:25:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/will-form-next-government-in-punjab-with-bjp-breakaway-akali-faction-says-amarinder-singh/article37750349.ece

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