Amarinder Singh announces alliance with BJP, seat-sharing talks on

Amarinder Singh met BJP’s Punjab leader Ganjendra Singh Shekhawat

Amarinder Singh today announced an alliance with the BJP for the Punjab elections, a move that had been expected ever since he left Congress last month.

The former Punjab chief minister made the announcement after a meeting with the BJP leadership in Delhi. He also tweeted photos in which he hugged Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, BJP’s Punjab chief.

“Our alliance (with BJP) has been confirmed. Only seat-sharing talks are underway. We will see who will compete where – our criteria for seat selection is purely windable,” Amarinder Singh told reporters.

“Our alliance (with BJP) is confirmed,” Amarinder Singh said after meeting BJP leaders in Delhi.

“The alliance will definitely, 101 percent win the election,” he added.

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat revealed in a separate post that seven rounds of negotiations have been held.

Even before he left Congress, his party for 40 years, Amarinder Singh had been in talks with the BJP about a partnership in Punjab.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to withdraw the three controversial agricultural laws was partly driven by the party’s plans for Punjab, a state where it played junior partner to Akali Dal for decades until a breach of agricultural laws.

As the BJP enters into a whole new alliance with Amarinder Singh, it plans to negotiate a senior partner status with a larger share of seats than the debuting Punjab Lok Congress, sources say.

The alliance marks a major political reorientation in the Punjab, adding the fourth corner to an increasingly intense competition that appeared to be sharply skewed against Congress just months ago.

The state’s ruling congress faces a tough challenge from Arvind Kejrival’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Akali Dals Sukhbir Badal has tied up with Mayawatis BSP.

Amarinder Singh, 79, left Congress after abruptly being replaced as prime minister in September – a shocking end to his long-running feud with Punjab’s congressional chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.

After severing all contact with the congressional leadership, the “captain” held talks with Prime Minister Modi and Interior Minister Amit Shah in Delhi.


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