After BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley faced a shock defeat at the hands of former Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, Punjab local bodies minister Anil Joshi resigned from the cabinet.
He submitted his resignation to Punjab BJP Chief Kamal Sharma with a request that it be forwarded to the Chief Minister.
Confirming this to HT, Joshi said, “I have resigned as a minister on moral grounds. We had raised the demand for Jaitley’s candidature from Amritsar. And now since he was defeated, I decided to quit on moral grounds.”
“Our intention was clear, we wanted Jaitley as a candidate from Amritsar because such a leader could have been the game changer for Punjab. Be it Industry, infrastructure, border trade; Jaitley would have contributed in big way. But people had different ideas, it seemed.”
On what turned out to be the reason for such embarrassing defeat for Jaitley, Joshi said, “I would only like to comment once we thoroughly analyze the results. We did make our initiatives as far as development is concerned but people did not trust us,” he added.
Notably, cabinet Minister Anil Joshi, who had differences with former MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, was the first one to raise demand for Jaitley’ candidature.
As people were anxiously waiting on who would get the BJP ticket from Amritsar, Joshi along with other party leaders had arranged a press conference and demanded Jaitley’s candidature, saying Amritsar and Punjab wanted a big leader for overall development.
Now when the results are out, Jaitley lost from Joshi’s own Amritsar (North) Constituency by around 20,000 votes.
Not only Joshi, even Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was instrumental in getting Jaitley to contest from Amritsar. But as soon as Capt. Amarinder Singh came, things changed and finally Amarinder toppled the BJP top gun.
Throughout the campaign, not only Joshi, but all the SAD-BJP leaders were confident of Jaitley’s win. But this defeat has certainly brought a major embarrassment top SAD-BJP combine in Amritsar as well as the state.