The Congress on Saturday accused former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh of “opportunism” a day after he confirmed his new party, the Punjab Lok Congress, will contest the state assembly elections in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Congress gave him everything, how can he join BJP? This is opportunism,” news agency ANI quoted party’s general secretary KC Venugopal as saying.
Regarding the assembly elections, he said that the Congress is confident of winning the polls scheduled to be held next year. “Congress will form the government in Punjab. Everybody has the right to speak in a democracy but you will know what happens after results,” he said.
Venugopal’s remarks came after Singh confirmed his pre-poll alliance with the BJP for the upcoming Punjab assembly elections. Union minister and BJP leader Gajendra Singh Shekhawat confirmed on Friday the pact between the two parties was sealed after seven rounds of talks.
“The alliance will definitely, 101% win the elections. And winnability will be the main criterion in finalising seats,” Amarinder Singh also told reporters on Friday.
While the two parties shared no details on seat sharing, ANI reported on Saturday citing people familiar with the matter that the BJP is likely to be the leading partner and may contest on 70 or 80 seats. The state assembly has 117 seats.
The remarks also came after Singh criticised Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi and state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu after a drone was spotted near the border with Pakistan. On Friday, the Border Security Force (BSF) intercepted a Chinese-made drone from Pakistan near the international border at Punjab’s Ferozpur.
“Instead of doing Bhangra all day CM Punjab should advice his home minister to get active and come out of denial mode. Also tell your party president (if he listens to you) to ask his elder brother Imran Khan to stop trying to disturb our border state of Punjab,” Singh tweeted, quoting a news report about the drone.
Singh resigned from the state’s top post in September after a year-long feud with Sidhu and announced his political party in October. He officially quit the Congress in November and launched his own political outfit.