Tearing into Captain Amarinder Singh over his decision to form a new party, Punjab Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa accused him of backstabbing Congress. Addressing a press briefing on Wednesday, he claimed that the ex-Punjab CM is an "opportunist leader who has always thought about himself, his family and his associates". Recalling Singh's political journey, Randhawa alleged that the former had left the Shiromani Akali Dal after Parkash Singh Badal denied him a ticket to contest the election.
Punjab Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa remarked, "I am feeling very sad that Captain Amarinder Singh had decided to form his own party. This person was given respect and important positions by the party. He backstabbed Congress from time to time."
On this occasion, he also accused Singh of doing precious little for the farmers during his 4-and-a-half year tenure as the CM. Making light of the Congress leader's focus on highlighting the threats from across the border, Randhawa stressed that the people of Punjab are not afraid of either Pakistan or China. Accusing him of joining hands with BJP owing to ED cases, the Punjab Deputy CM urged him to tender an apology to the people.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV later, he downplayed the impact of Amarinder Singh's new party on Congress' poll fortunes. Randhawa said, "Captain Sahab had started his own party even earlier. He lost his own deposit". He added, "If it would have damaged (our chances), would we let him go? Would we have not retained him as the CM"? Maintaining that no Congress leader would join hands with the former CM, he opined, "How does he know what is happening in Punjab when he did not meet anyone barring for two-three persons. He deserted his own associates".
Amid the infighting between Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu, the situation escalated after Congress summoned a Legislative Party meeting at 5 pm on September 18 without keeping the Punjab CM in the loop. Amid growing speculation that Singh will be ousted, the latter tendered his resignation to Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit at about 4.30 pm on the same day owing to "humiliation". Speaking exclusively to Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, Singh asserted that he would remain active in politics.
H set the rumour mills abuzz by meeting Amit Shah on September 29 at the latter's residence in Delhi. Officially commenting on the meeting, the Congress leader mentioned, "Discussed the prolonged farmers' agitation against farm laws and urged him to resolve the crisis urgently with the repeal of the laws and guarantee MSP, besides supporting Punjab in crop diversification". A day later, he met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to discuss security-related issues. After returning to Punjab on the same day, Singh announced that he will leave Congress but not join BJP.
On Tuesday, Singh declared that he will launch his own political party soon to serve the interests of Punjab and hinted that it would have a seat-sharing pact with the saffron party provided the anti-farm laws protest is resolved. He also displayed a willingness to forge an alliance with the breakaway factions of the SAD such as the Dhindsa and Brahmpura factions. The senior Congress leader affirmed, ‘I will not rest till I can secure the future of my people and my state. Punjab needs political stability and protection from internal and external threats".