A Shrewd Political Move

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Punjab Lok Congress leader Amarinder Singh and BJP's Gajendra Shekhawat. Photo credit: Amarinder Singh/Twitter

BJP’s Punjab-in charge Gajendra Singh Shekhawat had first met Amarinder Singh in Chandigarh last month in a bid to explore the possibilities of cooperation between BJP and Singh’s newly formed Punjab Lok Congress.

Politics in poll-bound Punjab has taken an interesting turn with former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh entering into an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party which is a prime contender for power in the state currently being ruled by the Congress. The tie-up between BJP and Singh’s Punjab Lok Congress (PLC), which will have a seat-sharing arrangement, is a tribute to the political genius of BJP stalwarts including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his lieutenant-in-chief and union home minister Amit Shah.

By joining hands with the Captain, who is perhaps the most experienced political leader in Punjab at the moment having led a Congress government in the state till he was forced to resign under the most humiliating circumstances, the BJP has not only strengthened its position in the state but also dealt a crushing blow to the Congress.

The announcement of the alliance was made after Amarinder Singh met Union minister and BJP Punjab-in charge Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in Delhi. Both Shekhawat and Singh exuded confidence about winning the polls. “We will fight elections together. We will win for sure,” said Singh, looking supremely confident.

Apparently prodded by the Modi-Shah duo, Shekhawat had first met Amarinder Singh in Chandigarh last month in a bid to explore the possibilities of cooperation between BJP and Singh’s newly formed Punjab Lok Congress. As it is, BJP has been looking for tie-ups with like-minded parties in almost all the states going to the polls. The most important of these states is, of course, Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state of India.

Punjab comes next and the BJP is gearing up to deal a body blow to the Congress in the state. As luck would have it Congress leadership has been committing blunder after blunder in Punjab, its biggest mistake being conceding the “irrational” demands of its present state chief, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Siddhu. Bent upon exacting revenge on Captain Amarinder Singh, who had refused to concede some of his demands, Siddhu launched a virulent campaign against Singh and sought to undermine his authority by inciting some of the ministers in the Singh cabinet to rise in revolt against him.

Unfortunately for the Captain the cricketer-turned-politician had the ear of an important member of the Gandhi family through whom he succeeded in convincing the leadership about the need to replace one of the most experienced chief ministers of the state. Singh resigned even before he was asked to do so as he was unable to bear the humiliation of his authority being deliberately undermined.

But Captain, who happens to be the scion of Patiala royal family, has sworn revenge against Siddhu and is also determined to make his former party pay for its shabby treatment of him towards the fag end of his political career. Led by Modi the  BJP has made a clever move by tying up with Singh who is both experienced and resourceful. Victory of the alliance will be sweet revenge for the former Maharaja of Patiala and equally sweet for the BJP as well.

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