Captain Amarinder Singh, the two times chief minister of Punjab, is all set to join the saffron party next week. Reportedly, the development came after Captain Amarinder met the home minister Amit Shah and PM Narendra Modi in the national capital. Moreover, he would be merging his own party – PLC in the BJP.
Furthermore, it’s seen as a major gain for the BJP in the border state of Punjab. Additionally, now the duo of Sunil Jakhar and Captain Amarinder Singh, who led the Congress party in Punjab for years, will now be seen working actively for the BJP. Moreover, this duo played the key role behind the victory of the grand-old-party in Punjab, be it in the assembly elections of 2017 or the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
Now Captain Amarinder, as per the sources, will merge his party Punjab Lok Congress in the BJP, officially joining the saffron party.
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• The story behind Captain’s exit from the Congress party:
During the assembly elections of 2017, the reins of Punjab Congress were handed over from the then PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa to Captain Amarinder Singh. Moreover, Captain Amarinder and Partap Singh Bajwa were close aides long ago, but since the party’s defeat in the 2012 assembly elections, both parted ways.
In the 2017 assembly elections, when even the Aam Aadmi Party was actively campaigning in Punjab, renowned election strategist Prashant Kishor’s strategy worked well for Captain Amarinder Singh. Furthermore, the Congress party won 77 assembly seats in the house of 117.
• Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Vs Captain Amarinder Singh – the biggest political tussle:
In June 2019, former PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu’s key portfolio was taken back by the then CM Captain Amarinder Singh in a major reshuffle. However, at that time, Navjot Singh Sidhu was politically silent, but reportedly, he was being supported by Rahul Gandhi behind the curtains.
The tussle between Captain Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu continued to increase with time. However, Captain Amarinder used to rarely speak anything on Sidhu, but Mr. Sidhu openly questioned the working of Amarinder Singh’s government publicly.
Furthermore, in 2021, 4 cabinet ministers in the then Congress government of Punjab, asked the Congress high command to suspend Sidhu from the party for his public assertions. However, the high command somewhere kept a soft corner for Navjot Singh Sidhu.
• 2022 Assembly Elections and Captain’s resignation from the CM post:
Just a few months before the assembly elections in February 2022, the political tussle between Captain Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu reached its peak. Moreover, Captain Amarinder was called to Delhi by the Congress high command several times.
On the other hand, when this all was going on, Captain Amarinder Singh kept quiet on the issue, stating, “Whatever I had to say, I conveyed it to the party high command.” Contrary to this, Navjot Singh Sidhu had been openly attacking his own party CM Captain Amarinder Singh in public gatherings, media addresses, and even on Twitter.
On 19th September, 2021, Captain Amarinder Singh resigned from the CM post, after the MLAs of the Congress party gathered at party headquarters in Punjab, without informing him. Moreover, Captain’s supporters called it a “plot” to remove him from the CM post. However, at that time, Captain didn’t quit the Congress party but cleared that he would soon resign from the party too.
Furthermore, on 2 November, 2021, Captain Amarinder Singh resigned from the Congress party, writing a 5 page long resignation letter to interim chief Sonia Gandhi, and formed his own party – Punjab Lok Congress. A lot of Congress leaders and some MLAs also jumped the ship to join the PLC.
However, despite contesting in an alliance with the BJP, with Captain Amarinder’s defeat from Patiala, the Punjab Lok Congress was not even able to get more votes than NOTA. Likewise, the BJP was also able to win just 3 assembly seats in Punjab.
Despite Captain Amarinder’s humiliating defeat, we can’t deny the fact that he is one of the most popular leaders in Punjab. Moreover, with Captain Amarinder joining the BJP, the duo of him and Sunil Jakhar would be seen playing a key role for the BJP in the border state.
The saffron party has nothing to lose in Punjab, but with the recent developments, many Congress leaders joining the party, and now Captain Amarinder Singh who is all set to join the BJP next week, the party will definitely be able to expand itself in Punjab.