Sunday, October 2, 2022

Will Captain bat solo in his new innings?

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Former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has already announced that he will indeed be leaving the Congress party. The announcement has made the intentions of Amarinder Singh joining another party or forming his own political party very clear. Speculations about the same caught pace after Captain Amarinder Singh’s meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and NSA Ajit Doval.

After meeting Amit Shah on Wednesday, Captain Amarinder tweeted about the hour-long interaction and said that he urged the Union Home Minister to resolve the crisis around the three controversial farm laws. Amarinder Singh, however, categorically put an end to the speculations of him joining the BJP, the same day he left the Congress party. Any presumptions of the former CM joining the BJP seem impractical seeing the current scenario in Punjab. Anti-BJP sentiments are extremely high in the state after the introduction of the three contentious farm laws in India. Such an alliance might be harmful to Captain Amarinder Singh’s image as a pro-Punjab leader. 

The possibility of external support by the BJP to Captain Amarinder’s own political party can nevertheless still be a viable political solution for both the parties in Punjab trying to capture the power vacuum created by the Congress lacking any tall leaders. Captain Amarinder Singh has, in the past, steered clear of directly and staunchly attacking PM Modi and the central government. Amarinder Singh’s bipartisan support to the central government in the aftermath of the Uri and Balakot surgical strikes show his nationalistic principles which align with the ideology of the BJP, for which he has often received praise from the party’s leaders.

Captain Amarinder Singh, being an army veteran and a political leader of high stature, definitely has the option of floating his own political party. The former CM is credited for being the driving force behind the Congress party’s resounding victory in the 2017 Punjab assembly polls over the incumbent SAD-BJP alliance. Many congress leaders are said to be in touch with Captain Amarinder and may join his new party if he indeed forms one. This, along with Captain Amarinder’s own image in the state, will ensure a readily available voter base for the new party. This will also mean that the Congress party will run a risk of losing Punjab if enough sitting MLAs decide to join Captain Amarinder in his new political endeavour. 

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