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Friday, December 03, 2021

Punjab: Amid row over Pakistani friend, Amarinder prepares to announce new party before Diwali

“He is taking approval from the Election Commission of India. The party is to be registered and a choice of symbols is to be given. All these requirements have been set into the process,” said a source.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh |
Updated: October 24, 2021 2:47:07 am
Former Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh (File photo)

Amid a slugfest over his Pakistani friend Aroosa Alam and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa flip-flop Saturday by saying the state police cannot inquire against her, former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is preparing to announce his own political outfit before Diwali.

Randhawa, who had tweeted Friday to say that a probe will be conducted on Alam’s alleged ISI links, Saturday said, “She is a foreign national. How can a state hold an inquiry against her? It should be done by RAW and NSA.”

Amid his flip-flop, a war of words ensued over Alam with Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu and his chief strategic advisor Mohd Mustafa also joining in.

Meanwhile, sources in the Amarinder camp said he was ready to announce his party anytime and had already done the paperwork while being in Delhi this week. “He is taking approval from the Election Commission of India. The party is to be registered and a choice of symbols is to be given. All these requirements have been set into the process,” said a source.

It is also learnt that Amarinder has also started calling up several Congress leaders, who have been upset with the party lately. The party had dropped a few Cabinet ministers in the new Cabinet.

Faridkot MLA Kushaldeep Singh Kiki Dhillon was also upset with Congress for not been inducted into the Cabinet. The government on Sunday appointed him chairman of Markfed. His appointment is being seen as a strategy of the Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi-led government to counter Amarinder’s efforts.

Sources said Amarinder may announce his party as soon as next week. “He may not open his cards as to who would go with him from the Congress. Things will start crystallising in mid-November when an amicable solution to the farm laws would be provided and Amarinder will be ready to ally with BJP,”

As Amarinder was learnt to be calling up MLAs in Congress, the slugfest over Alam was continuing. Although Randhawa did not say anything about her Saturday, Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu accused her of “receiving kickbacks” for postings in Punjab. She accused Amarinder of accepting money from officers to buy presents for Aroosa. She also said Amarinder should “spend the rest of his life with her, have fun with the money, unless she vanishes with so much of funds.”

Mustafa also took on Amarinder for tweeting Aroosa’s picture with AICC chief Sonia Gandhi, “Still grappling to grasp the “designs” behind tweeting CP-Aroosa pic @CAPT_AMARINDER Please do understand, grant of visa by UPA or NDA doesn’t include license 2 domesticate and outsource “governance apparatus to “videshi mehman” with unfettered liberty to loot and launder.”

Mustafa also tweeted a picture of former Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan and former DGP Dinkar Gupta with Aroosa Alam.

In response, Amarinder’s media advisor Raveen Thukral, on behalf of Amarinder, posted pictures of Mustafa’s Cabinet minister wife Razia Sultana and his daughter in law with Aroosa Alam, writing: “And how about you explaining this @MohdMustafaips. Isn’t that your wife & daughter-in-law with the same lady? How low can you get? Mixing politics with friendship! #AroosaAlam personally cherishes these & many more such memories with your family’: @capt_amarinder”

Aroosa, through a spokesperson of Amarinder, also joined the issue when she said that the picture with Sonia Gandhi was taken in 2005 and she had not even met Amarinder by then. She had met Amarinder in 2006. “I was a part of party to party meeting and was a part of delegation led by Shujaat Hussain, chief of the then ruling PML (Q).”


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