Punjab minister Pargat Singh on Tuesday hit out at former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for announcing that he was launching a new party and saying he was open to partnering the BJP and other "like-minded parties" after his unceremonious exit last month.
A close aide of Captain Singh's rival Navjot Singh Sidhu, Pargat Singh was inducted into the cabinet after a new Congress government took charge in Punjab following a mutiny among MLAs against the former Chief Minister.
"I had said all along that Captain is in bed with the BJP and Akali Dal. He used to get his agenda from the BJP," Pargat Singh, who has frequently targetted the former Chief Minister amid the Congress party's turmoil in the state, said.
Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said he would soon announce a political party and is hopeful of a seat arrangement with the BJP if the farmers' issue is resolved in their interest.
The two-time Chief Minister resigned last month after a bitter feud with Navjot Singh Sidhu and infighting in the state Congress. The party replaced him with Charanjit Singh Channi.
"The battle for Punjab's future is on. Will soon announce the launch of my own political party to serve the interests of Punjab & its people, including our farmers who've been fighting for their survival for over a year," Captain Singh said Tuesday.
He also said he will not rest until he secures the future of "my people and my state".
"Punjab needs political stability and protection from internal and external threats. I promise my people I will do what it takes to ensure its peace and security, which is today at stake," he was quoted as saying by his media adviser.
"Hopeful of a seat arrangement with BJP in 2022 Punjab Assembly polls if Farmers Protest is resolved in farmers' interest. Also looking at alliance with like-minded parties such as breakaway Akali groups, particularly Dhindsa & Brahmpura factions," Captain Singh said.