New Delhi: Amid raging speculation over former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s next political move, the Congress stalwart on Wednesday met Union home minister Amit Shah at the latter’s residence.
After Captain Singh was forced to quit from the CM’s post by the Congress top brass to placate Navjot Singh Sidhu, speculation has been rife that Captain Singh could either join the BJP or float his own party.
There are also strong rumours that the BJP could give legal backing to Minimum Support Price (MSP) as a middle way to assuage farmers’ unions who have been protesting against the three farm laws and demanding a legal framework for MSP for over a year. If the Modi government decides to do this, many feel that it will ease Captain Singh’s entry in the BJP as he had been backing the farmer unions’ demand.
Rumours are that the Centre, which has so far remained unwilling to roll back the farm laws, can also ask Captain Singh to be its emissary for the farmers unions.
After his meeting with Shah to discuss “prolonged farmers’ agitation against farm laws,” political circles in the national capital are abuzz about a likely meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president J.P. Nadda.
“Met Union Home Minister @AmitShah ji in Delhi. Discussed the prolonged farmers agitation against #FarmLaws & urged him to resolve the crisis urgently with repeal of the laws & guarantee MSP, besides supporting Punjab in crop diversification. #NoFarmersNoFood,” tweeted Captain Singh after his meeting with Shah.
With the BJP’s internal surveys in Punjab suggesting that the BJP is unlikely to cross 12-14 mark in the coming Assembly polls, mainly due to farmers unions protests and leadership crisis, any deal with Captain Singh will be beneficial for the saffron party which also lost one of its oldest allies — Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) — in the state over the farm laws.
BJP poll managers are of the view that Captain Singh’s national security concerns regarding Sidhu and his friendship with Pakistan PM Imran Khan have marred his chances of getting any plum post in any other party and even in Punjab, while they have strengthened the former CM’s position in the state’s politics.
As Captain Singh reached the national capital, speculation has been rife that he could also meet the ‘G-23’ leaders of the Congress who have expressed concerns over political turmoil in Punjab. Before his meeting with Shah, the former Punjab CM, sources said, also met some of his “well wishers” from the Congress.
Raking up national security concerns expressed by Captain Singh over Sidhu’s promotion as the CM candidate of the border state by the Congress top brass, the BJP attacked the Congress leadership and termed the political crisis in the border state as a “colossal failure” of Rahul Gandhi. The state’s Opposition party said the Congress has been synonymous with “instability” and the state has been plagued by a clash of ambitions.