All anti-Badal forces are welcome to Congress, says Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh
| Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 18:20
Amritsar: After virtually rejecting cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu's entry into his party, Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh on Thursday said all "anti-Badal forces" were welcome to join the Congress in the interest of Punjab.
"Not just Sidhu, but all those who are committed to Punjab's governance, to whichever party they may belong, are welcome to join the Congress unconditionally," Amarinder told the media during his tour of border areas of Amritsar district on Thursday.
Amarinder had earlier said that the Congress did not need Sidhu, who was putting forth conditions to join the party.
"I have always maintained that anyone who has the interests of the people of Punjab at heart, and is ready to embrace the Congress values unconditionally, can come to us and we will accept them with open arms," Amarinder said.
The Congress is preparing to put up a challenge to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance, which has been in power in Punjab since 2007, for the coming assembly polls in the state. The elections are likely to be held early next year.
"The coming together of all anti-Badal forces ahead of the assembly elections will pave the way for the betterment of Punjab, which had been thrown into a state of total apathy and backwardness by the current Akali regime," the former Chief Minister said, adding that there was a strong pro-Congress wave in the state.
Asked about Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) poll prospects, the Congress leader dismissed it as a "party of crooks who want to use Punjab for their vested political interests".
He said people in Delhi are already suffering from AAP's mis-governance as the party has no agenda for development.