Leaving Congress but not joining BJP: Amarinder

New Delhi, Sep 30 (PTI): Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday scotched speculation of his joining BJP but said he will quit the Congress, which he asserted was going downhill with senior leaders being ignored.
A day after meeting Home Minister Amit Shah which triggered speculation of his joining the BJP, Singh said he would leave the Congress as he had been “utterly humiliated” and was not trusted.
“I will not join BJP (but) I will not stay in the Congress party,” the 79-year-old leader said, adding that he was still thinking through his options in the interest of Punjab as security of the state was the predominant priority for him. Singh, who arrived in the national capital on Tuesday, also met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Thursday.
He had resigned as chief minister on September 18 after accusing the Congress of humiliating him. “I will not be treated in this humiliating manner…I will not take such insults,” he said, adding that his principles and beliefs do not allow him to stay in the Congress any longer.
Terming the senior Congressmen as “thinkers”, who were critical to the future of the party, the former chief minister said the younger leadership should be promoted to implement the plans, which the senior leaders are best equipped to formulate.
Unfortunately, the seniors are being “completely sidelined” which is not good for the party, he said in a statement.
Singh’s Twitter bio, which read “Army Veteran | Former Chief Minister Punjab | Continuing to serve the State”, has no mention of the Congress party.
However, sources said he has not resigned from the Congress so far.
After Singh’s statement, a source said the former chief minister may float his own outfit ahead of elections in Punjab which are to be held early next year.
Singh was also the president of the All India Jat Mahasabha in 2013 when he was removed as PCC chief .There is also speculation that he may get actively involved once again with this body to help resolve the farmers’ issues.
Slamming Navjot Singh Sidhu, Singh said he was a mere crowd-puller and did not know how to carry the team along.
The former chief minister also condemned the attack on Kapil Sibal’s house by Congress workers only because he had chosen to express views that were not palatable to the party leadership.
Expressing the hope that Punjab would vote for the future of the state, he said his experience showed that the people of the state tend to vote for a single party/force, irrespective of the number of parties in the fray.
Misgovernance in Punjab would give Pakistan an opportunity to create trouble in the state and in the country, he said, adding that his meeting with Doval this morning centred around this issue.
Singh had raised security concerns with Shah too, along with the farmers’ issue, during his meeting with him on Wednesday.
Taking a dig at those who undermine the growing Pakistani threat in Punjab, he said that such people were playing into the hands of anti-India forces by being in a denial mode.
“They (Pak-backed elements) are killing our soldiers every day, they are pushing weapons into the state through drones. How can we overlook these dangers,” he said.
Singh had earlier accused Sidhu of being close to Pakistan and its prime minister Imran Khan and had alleged that he was “dangerous” for the border state.
Reiterating his opinion about Sidhu, Singh said he does not know how to carry his team along.
He said he has worked with many PPCC chiefs and he has himself been one, and he has always resolved issues amicably, without indulging in theatrics like Sidhu. The former chief minister was opposed to Sidhu being appointed as PCC chief.

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