On Monday, the former chief minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, officially joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and merged his new Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) with the saffron party.
Speaking to the media, the former Congress veteran expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Interior Minister Amit Shah and BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda, saying it was now time to join a party that “represents the interests of the country”, ANI. reported.
Former Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh joined BJP in the presence of Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Kiren Rijiju, BJP leader Sunil Jakhar and BJP Punjab chief Ashwani Sharma. pic.twitter.com/kXatMlvPVP
— ANI (@ANI) September 19, 2022
Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Kiren Rijiju, BJP leader Sunil Jakhar and BJP Punjab chief Ashwani Sharma also attended the event.
Earlier in the day, Amarinder, an army veteran, had met Nadda in Delhi before joining the BJP.
With the entry of Amarinder into the saffron party, experts believe that the BJP has acquired an important Sikh face that will benefit the party in Punjab.
Let’s take a closer look at that:
Amarinder’s entry amid AAP vs BJP tussle in Punjab
Amarinder’s new innings at the BJP come amid the ruling government of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) accusing the saffron party of poaching its MLAs.
The Prime Minister of Punjab, Bhagwant Mann, has convened a special session of the state assembly on September 22 to prove the majority of his government on the floor.
ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦੇ ਵਿਸ਼ਵਾਸ ਦੀ ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਕਿਸੇ ਕਰੰਸੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਕੋਈ ਕੀਮਤ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੁੰਦੀ …22 September ਦਿਨ ਦਿਨ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਵਿਧਾਨ ਦਾ ਸਪੈਸ਼ਲ ਕੇ ਮਤਾ ਕਾਨੂੰਨੀ ਤੌਰ ਇਹ ਗੱਲ ਸਾਬਤ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਜਾਵੇਗੀ…ਇਨਕਲਾਬ ਜ਼ਿੰਦਾਬਾਦ..! pic.twitter.com/VM2zA1upDP
— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) September 19, 2022
Last week, several AAP lawmakers filed a police complaint against the BJP accusing the party of bidding to overthrow the Mann-led government by offering money to its MLAs and “threatening” them under Operation Lotus. , as per The Bharat Express News.
The Maharaja of Patiala has called the AAP’s allegations against the BJP “unnecessary noises to divert attention”. The Bharat Express News.
Amarinder has now joined the list of his former congressional colleagues such as Sunil Kumar Jakhar, Balbir Sidhu, Gurpreet Kangar, Raj Kumar Verka and Sundar Sham Arora, who left the big old party for the BJP after the humiliating defeat in the Punjab Assembly elections earlier this year .
AAP had landed a landslide victory in the polls, taking 92 of the 117 seats in the Assembly, while Congress fell to 18.
Amarinder’s Punjab Lok Congress, which had allied with the BJP during the polls, remained blank and the saffron party managed to win only in two constituencies. Captain had also lost his own bastion – Patiala.
Benefit for BJP
From The Quintwith the entry of Amarinder, the BJP could become the main opposition to AAP in Punjab.
If the Shiromani Akali Dal weakens further, the BJP could effectively move one step closer to narrowing Congress’ space in state politics.
Amarinder was forced to resign from the post of Prime Minister of Punjab last year, leaving Congress just six months ahead of the Assembly polls unceremoniously.
He had founded PLC after he left the big old party.
From Quint sources, the merger of the PLC with the BJP was always in the offing and the party was “a temporary measure”.
For BJP, Amarinder is a strong Sikh face who would also be “acceptable” to Hindu constituency in Punjab, notes The Bharat Express News.
Former Union law minister and senior leader of Punjab, Ashwani Kumar, said he believes the BJP will get a “boost” in the state with Amarinder’s accession.
“BJP will be strong in Punjab because of Captain Amarinder Singh’s image as a nationalist secular Sikh leader. Hindu people love him too, so how can strong support turn into a voice, time will tell, but the effect will be in Punjab and it will strengthen the BJP,” Kumar said. ANI.
Furthermore, he predicted that with the arrival of the captain, many congress leaders would also likely leave the congress and join the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
“I think the nationalist forces will get a substantial boost in Punjab. This will have an effect on the 2024 general election and it is also possible that before the 2024 elections many congress party leaders will move to the BJP because workers or those who are second-class leaders will stay in the same party where there are strong leaders.” the former Union minister was quoted as saying: ANI.
BJP and Amarinder a match
Even while attending Congress, Amarinder has sided with the BJP on many issues.
Amarinder, who is on good terms with Narendra Modi, also aligns with the saffron party’s ideology and views on most nationalist issues, notes The Bharat Express News.
While other states opposed the Center’s move to expand the physical jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF), Amarinder was one of the few leaders to support its expansion on the Punjab border.
According to Quint, 80-year-old Amarinder may be given a governorship or other important position of the BJP.
With his BJP entry, he has also secured the political future of his family, especially his daughter Jai Inder Kaur and son Raninder Singh, according to The Quints.
With input from agencies
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