Amarinder Singh’s Delhi visit is “personal” and there is “no need for speculation”, the former Punjab Chief Minister’s media advisor tweeted today, after buzz that the veteran politician – one of the Congress’ most high-profile faces and someone once seen as extremely close to the Gandhi family – was set to meet BJP chief JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah.
“Too much being read into Captain Amarinder’s visit to Delhi. He is on a personal visit, during which he’ll meet some friends and vacate the Kapurthala house for the new Chief Minister. No need for any unnecessary speculation,” Mr Singh’s media advisor, Raveen Thukral, said.
Too much being read into @capt_amarinder‘s visit to Delhi. He’s on a personal visit, during which he’ll meet some friends and also vacate Kapurthala house for the new CM. No need for any unnecessary speculation. pic.twitter.com/CFVCrvBQ0i
— Raveen Thukral (@RT_Media_Capt) September 28, 2021
Reports Mr Singh had a meeting lined up with two of the BJP’s most senior faces had triggered speculation he could add to the long list of top Congress leaders who have quit the party in recent months – except this would be a massive move, particularly with an election due in Punjab next year.
Amarinder Singh stepped down as Punjab Chief Minister 10 days ago – months before the election and after a long and bitter feud with rival Navjot Sidhu over several issues, including the farmers’ protests, electricity tariffs, and the 2015 sacrilege case and subsequent police action.
As he quit a furious Mr Singh said he had been “humiliated” thrice by the Congress leadership in his battle with Mr Sidhu. He also wrote to Sonia Gandhi and warned her against positioning the former India cricketer as a chief ministerial candidate for next year’s election.
“… for the sake of my country, I’ll oppose his (Sidhu) name for Chief Minister. It’s a matter of national security… is an incompetent man… a total disaster…” he told NDTV.
At the time Mr Singh also refused to comment on his political future; he told NDTV ” I can’t answer that right now” when asked if he would remain in the Congress.
Last week Mr Singh dropped worrying hints that he intended to follow through on his promise to oppose the Congress’ backing of Mr Sidhu, as he threatened to field a candidate against him and “make any sacrifice” to stop him becoming Chief Minister.
“He (Sidhu) is dangerous for the state,” he said in a statement released to the press.