Captain Amarinder Singh meets Amit Shah, says discussed farmers’ stir
Amarinder Singh tweeted that the meeting discussed the ongoing farmers’ stir against three central laws.
Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh called on Union home minister Amit Shah at his residence in Delhi on Wednesday, stoking speculation that the 79-year-old could be joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or seeking its support ahead of next year’s assembly polls in the state.
The two met for a little less than an hour but BJP functionaries remained tight-lipped about the meeting even as the Congress condemned the event.
Singh tweeted that the meeting discussed the ongoing farmers’ stir against three central laws.
“Met Union home minister Amit Shah ji in Delhi. Discussed the prolonged farmers agitation against farm laws & urged him to resolve the crisis urgently with repeal of the laws & guarantee MSP, besides supporting Punjab in crop diversification. #NoFarmersNoFood.”
The meeting came a day after the former chief minister’s aides had denied reports about the meeting and said Singh was in Delhi on a personal visit and to vacate Kapurthala House for the new chief minister.
On Tuesday, Singh’s rival Navjot Singh Sidhu dramatically resigned as the Congress state unit chief, plunging the party into a crisis months before state elections.
Singh stepped down as CM last week after a months-long tussle with Sidhu for control of the party.
He later blamed the party’s central leadership for “humiliating” him.
A BJP functionary said that a section of the party was keen on the former CM joining the party fold.
“As a Jat Sikh face, a long-standing CM, they feel he has clout with the electorate and can be useful in helping work out a truce between the government and the farmers who are unrelenting from their position of seeking a role back of the farm laws,” added the functionary, requesting anonymity.
On whether a role was envisaged for the former CM to negotiate with farmers on behalf of the government, the functionary said, “Nothing has been finalised.”
However, other leaders who spoke to HT on condition of anonymity said the “age factor” of the 79-year-old leader will be a key consideration.
After the meeting, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that Amit Shah’s residence had become the centre of anti-Dalit politics, referring to the recent appointment of Punjab’s first Dalit chief minister, Charanjit Singh Channi.
In a series of tweets in Hindi, he said, “The arrogance of the those sitting in power has been hurt. Because if a Dalit is made the chief minister, then they ask who is making the decisions in the Congress... The centre of anti-Dalit politics is nowhere else but Amit Shah’s residence.”
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