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‘Rahul Gandhi was right’: Congress leaders react after Amarinder’s ‘new party’ announcement

“All along, the Captain was in bed with BJP and Akali Dal,” said a Punjab minister

PTI12_23_2019_000134B Representational image | PTI

After former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced his intention to form a new party to contest the upcoming Punjab elections, expressing his hopefulness of a seat-sharing arrangement with the BJP and breakaway Akali groups, political reactions came in thick and fast.

Tweeted Maanmohan Singh Pahuja, Congress national social media coordinator: "News about @capt_amarinder forming a new party, a possible alliance with BJP, has proven @RahulGandhi correct. Trust the leader. RG [Rahul Gandhi] is very clear about ideology, he will not compromise on it. Captain’s comments should shut up those who criticised Congress leadership.” He was referencing criticism from various political quarters against the Gandhi family after Amarinder’s unceremonious exit. Amarinder had left the party after a prolonged dispute within the Congress, with the party high command leaders like Rahul and Priyanka seemingly throwing their weight behind his bete-noire, the untested Navjot Singh Sidhu. At that point of time, several analysts had critiqued the Congress for “unnecessary churn” within the party so close to the elections.

NDTV reported that a close aide of Sidhu, Pargat Singh, who was inducted into the cabinet recently, stated that Amarinder was in bed with the BJP all along. "I had said all along that the Captain is in bed with the BJP and Akali Dal. He used to get his agenda from the BJP," Pargat Singh said, the publication reported.

Republic TV even reported from exclusive sources that Amarinder may hold a rally with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Patiala, the captain’s home constituency, by the last week of October.

"Will soon announce the launch of my own political party to serve the interests of Punjab and its people, including our farmers," Singh was quoted as saying in a tweet by his media advisor Raveen Thukral. Singh said Punjab needs political stability and protection from internal and external threats. "I will not rest till I can secure the future of my people and my state,” he said. The 79-year-old veteran politician said he is hopeful of a seat-sharing arrangement with the BJP in the 2022 assembly polls if the ongoing protest against the three controversial agri laws is resolved in farmers' interest. “Also looking at alliance with like-minded parties—Akali groups, particularly Dhindsa and Brahmpura,” Thukral further quoted him as saying.

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