Two-time chief minister and Punjab Lok Congress supremo Amarinder Singh feels that no single party is going to get a clear majority in the assembly polls, and asserts that his party's alliance with the BJP and SAD (Sanyukt) is on the rise.
The 79-year-old scion of the royal family of Patiala and former Congress state unit chief floated his own party after resigning as chief minister of Punjab last year.
Asserting that he is neither retired nor tired, Mr Singh says the urge to make Punjab and the country a better place keeps him going at this age.
“I am not ready to retire, I want to work for my people. This is my ninth election...I have been elected twice to Parliament and six times to the assembly,” Mr Singh said.
On the poll scenario in Punjab, Mr Singh said this time it is a four-cornered or five-cornered contest and then there are some independents as well.
“Multi-cornered contest will make it easier for the voter to decide what he wants but as far as the parties are concerned, it is going to be a difficult fight for them unless they are really on top of their performance. Many of them don't have a chance to cross 10 or 15 seats. I don't see any single party getting a clear cut majority. People talk about AAP. I think AAP is on a day-to-day basis going down. Similarly, the Congress is going down. We by God's grace are going up,” Mr Singh told PTI in an interview.
On the Congress projecting Charanjit Singh Channi as the chief ministerial face and that he is a Dalit, Singh said people should not vote for caste or community but vote for ability.
“I don't like this business of caste and community. After 75 years of Independence, we should vote on ability not on caste. As far as ability is concerned his level is that of minister not that of chief minister. And his returns are in crores but he is claiming that he is a poor man,” Mr Singh said.
Talking about his alliance with the BJP, Mr Singh said he joined hands with the party for the betterment and safety of Punjab and as far as chief ministerial face is concerned, it can be decided after the elections.
Mr Singh pointed out that the state shares a 600-km hostile border with Pakistan and needs people who are sensible and can unleash a new era of development in the state.
According to the seat sharing agreement among the three parties, the BJP will contest 65 seats, Punjab Lok Congress 37 seats and Sukhdev Singh Dhinda led SAD (Sanyukt) will contest on 15 seats. Voting for the 117 assembly seats in Punjab will be held on February 20.