India

Amarinder Singh To Form New Party, Navjot Sidhu's Prompt "BJP Loyal" Jibe

Amarinder Singh To Form New Party, Navjot Sidhu's Prompt

Highlights

  • "I will form political party in Punjab," Amarinder Singh said
  • He said that his party will look for a seat-sharing arrangement with BJP
  • He supported Centre's move to expand jurisdiction of BSF in Punjab

Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has announced that he will form a new political party in Punjab ahead of the elections in the state next year. "I will form a political party in Punjab. I do not have the details yet," he said on Wednesday. He said that he is waiting for an "opportune moment" to launch the party. 

On an alliance with the BJP, Mr Singh said that his party will look for a seat-sharing arrangement. "I never said that I will align with the BJP. All I said was that I, my party, will look for a seat-sharing agreement," he said. The former Chief Minister had supported the Centre's move to expand the jurisdiction of the Border Security Forces (BSF) in Punjab which has triggered a debate on federalism and state autonomy. He said that his "basic training" is that of a soldier and that he has been actively involved in the safety and intelligence issues in the state as Chief Minister for 9.5 years.

"The security forces are professional and are there for our security. They are in no way a threat to the government, nor are they taking over the government in Punjab, so let them do their duty and protect the state and the citizens of India," he said.

Mr Singh said he didn't want the state to go through a "turbulent time" as it has in the past. On border security, he warned of drones "dropping weapons, ammunition, and narcotics". He claimed that underground tunnels have also been found in Punjab. "These drones are Chinese drones - their range and payload capacity is increasing by the day. That day may not be far when these drones can reach and drop the payload as far as Chandigarh. One can never take a risk," he added.