Scotching speculation to the contrary, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday made it clear he was not joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but had no intention of continuing in the Congress, which he said was going downhill with senior leaders completely ignored and not given a voice.
Denying any move to join the BJP, Captain Amarinder said he would leave the Congress where he had been utterly humiliated and was not trusted. “I will resign…will not stay in the party,” he said, adding that he was still thinking through his options in the interest of Punjab, whose security was the predominant priority for him. “I will not be treated in this humiliating manner…I will not take such insults,” he said, adding that his principles and beliefs do not allow him to stay in the Congress.
Terming the senior Congressmen as the thinkers, who were critical to the future of the party, the former Chief Minister said the younger leadership should be promoted to implement the plans, which the senior leaders are best equipped to formulate. Unfortunately, the seniors were being completely sidelines, he said, adding this was not good for the party. He also condemned the attack on Kapil Sibal’s house by Congress workers only because he had chosen to express views that were not palatable to the party leadership.
Expressing the hope that Punjab would vote for the future of the state, he said his experience showed that the people of Punjab tend to vote for a single party/force, irrespective of the number of parties in the fray. Misgovernance in Punjab would give Pakistan the opportunity to create trouble in the state and in the country, he said, adding that his meeting with NSA Ajit Doval this morning centered around this issue.
It may be recalled that Captain Amarinder had raised security concerns with Home Minister Amit Shah too, along with the farmers’ issue, during his meeting with the latter yesterday.
Taking a dig at those who undermine the growing Pakistani threat in Punjab, he said that such people were playing into the hands of anti-India forces by being in denial mode. “They (Pak-backed elements) are killing our soldiers every day, they are pushing weapons into the state through drones. How can we overlook these dangers,” he added.
Reiterating his opinion of Navjot Singh Sidhu, Captain Amarinder described him as a mere crowd puller who does not know how to carry his team along. Pointing out that he had personally worked with many PPCC chiefs, besides himself being one, he said he always resolved issues amicably, without indulging in theatrics like Sidhu.