FORMER CHIEF minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday announced the merger of his Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) with the BJP, a party that he fought against during his long career in the Congress and which he is set to join on Monday, September 19.
PLC spokesperson Pritpal Singh Baliyewal said a list of the party’s leaders who are expected to join the BJP in Delhi along with Amarinder is being finalised.
On Friday, BJP national executive member Harjit Grewal said, “Amarinder Singh is already with us. He is not an outsider.”
In an interview with The Indian Express a day before the merger was announced, Singh — reacting to allegations by the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that the BJP was carrying out ‘Operation Lotus’ to topple the government in Punjab — said, “It does not make any sense if the BJP buys 12 MLAs out of the 92 MLAs AAP has. You need more than 50 per cent [to topple the government]. They [AAP] are making unnecessary noises just to divert attention.”
He also said the AAP government in Punjab was being controlled from Delhi. “After all, is it a working government when there is a man — Raghav Chadha – who comes from Delhi and calls the shots. Anything which is important is sent to Delhi for [Delhi CM Arvind] Kejriwal to decide. They are not letting the poor CM [Bhagwant Mann] function.”
Amarinder had resigned from the membership of the Congress in early November last year, a month and a half after the party dropped him as CM and brought in Charanjit Singh Channi.