CHANDIGARH: Slow but steady, Captain Amarinder Singh is moving closer to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in preparation for the upcoming elections next year. The former Punjab chief minister on Tuesday met the current Haryana chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, at his residence here in Chandigarh. To keep the onlookers hanging, however, he termed the meeting as a “courtesy call”.
This is the first formal meeting between the two after Capt floated a new party to fight elections in Punjab. Singh’s new party, Punjab Lok Congress, is all set to contest the state Assembly election in February 2022.
Speculations are rife that Singh has discussions on seat sharing in Punjab assembly with the BJP on his mind and the meeting is a precursor to that.
According to sources, the two leaders discussed the various scenarios ahead of the upcoming Punjab elections. The political experts view this meeting as crucial for both the Punjab Lok Congress leader and the BJP.
Sources who were present in the meeting also claimed that both the leaders discussed repealing of the three farm laws and the situation of protesting farmers in Haryana.
After the meeting the former CM of Punjab said: “It was a courtesy meeting with Haryana CM, Manohar Lal Khattar. I had sought time to have a cup of tea with him.”
Singh claimed that no political issue was discussed during the meeting. While answering a question on the repealing of the three farm laws, Singh said the laws have already been withdrawn in the Lok Sabha and that the central government has also agreed on the other six to seven issues related to the farmers. There are no more issues left to be addressed, he stated. “Agitation is now over. And the government is redressing other issues of the farmers as well,” Singh added.
As for the alliance, he said the discussions will happen whenever he visits Delhi next. He plans to hold talks with the top BJP leadership regarding the alliance, he shared.
He also claimed that he is in touch with many farmer leaders and that some meetings are already underway. “The farmers may make a decision very soon — either today or on December 4. On the FIRs being registered against the farmers, soon after any direction from the government of Punjab or Haryana, the FIRs will be taken back,” Singh added.
He also took a jibe on Congress Punjab president, Navjot Singh Sidhu, and said: “Bhai Navjot Singh Sidhu kuch subhe kehta hai, kuch sham ko kehta hai, uske barey mei mai kya bolu” (Navjot Singh Sidhu changes his statements at different points during the day, what does one say to that?)