The announcement from Amarinder comes around three weeks after he formally resigned from the Congress, ending his two decades old association with the party
Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh will contest the upcoming Assembly elections from his family stronghold of Patiala.
“I will contest from Patiala. Patiala is with us for 400 years and I am not going to leave it due to Sidhu,” Amarinder announced on his Facebook page, as he targeted his rival and Congress’ Punjab unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu.
By “400 years”, Amarinder invoked the legacy of his royal family, which ruled the erstwhile princely state of Patiala. The Assembly seat was won by him in the last Assembly elections, defeating BJP’s General (retd) JJ Singh by a margin of over 60,000 votes.
Cumulatively, Amarinder has represented Patiala in the state Assembly four times in his political career, whereas, his wife was an MLA from the seat for three years between 2014 and 2017.
The announcement from Amarinder comes around three weeks after he formally resigned from the Congress, ending his two decades old association with the party.
The 80-year-old political veteran, who led the Congress to a two-third majority victory in the 2017 polls, had resigned as the chief minister in September following a bitter intra-party feud between him and Sidhu.
Amarinder had subsequently announced his decision to leave the Congress and float his own outfit – the Punjab Lok Congress.
The new party, whose application for registration has been sent to the Election Commission, will tie-up with Akali factions and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Amarinder had said.
The entry of Punjab Lok Congress, that is likely to formalise its alliance with the BJP, has turned the forthcoming Assembly polls into a four-cornered battled.
Apart from the likely coalition between the Captain and the BJP, the ruling Congress is facing a challenge from traditional rival Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which has tied up with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is the prime opposition group in the outgoing Assembly.
Notably, the 117-seat Punjab Assembly would go to polls in early 2022. While the Election Commission is yet to announce the dates, it is expected that the polls would be held around January-February.