New Delhi: Today Amarinder Singh said that he is not joining the BJP but quitting the Congress, confirming to the media which had been speculated since he was forced to quit as Punjab Chief Minister earlier this month.
"So far I am in the Congress but I will not remain in the Congress. I have already made my position very clear. I will not be treated in this manner," the Captain said in an exclusive interview a day after meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi.
Pulling no punches, the Captain also predicted the Congress's downfall in Punjab and called Navjot Singh Sidhu a "childish man" who had been given a serious job by the party.
"I have been in politics for 52 years. I have my own beliefs, my principles. The way I have been treated. At 10.30 am the Congress President says you resign. I didn't ask any questions. I said I will do it just now. At 4 pm I went to the Governor and resigned. If you doubt me after 50 years and my credibility is at stake if there is no trust, what is the point of me staying in the party?"
Even before quitting on September 18, Amarinder Singh had told Sonia Gandhi that he had been humiliated thrice by the party.
"I have made my stand very clear to the Congress that I will not be treated in this manner. I will not stand for it. I have not resigned from Congress yet, but how can one continue in a place where there is a trust deficit? When there is no trust, one cannot continue," he said.
Questions arise in the minds of the people, including the Congress, have for him after he met with Amit Shah, Mr. Singh asserted: "I am not joining the BJP".
He added: "I have not resigned from the Congress but I will resign. I am not a person who takes split-second decisions. But I am not joining the BJP."
Navjot Sidhu, who played a big role in the two-time Chief Minister's abrupt exit, also stunned the party by resigning as Punjab Congress chief on Tuesday.
"Sidhu is an immature person. I have said repeatedly that he is not a stable man. He is not a team player. He is a loner. How will he handle the Punjab Congress as its chief? For that you need to be a team player, which Sidhu is not," Mr. Singh said.
Describing Mr. Sidhu as "childish", he said: "Sidhu is good at creating a scene. He can do what he did in Kapil Sharma's show and get a crowd, but he is not a serious guy. How can a non-serious person be taking serious, major decisions in the running of a party and the state government? He can only do theatrics."
On Rahul Gandhi, Amarinder Singh said: "He wants to bring young blood into the party but refuses to listen to the advice of older leaders."
The Captain even predicted downfall for the Congress in the Punjab election due early next year.
"The Congress is going downhill. In the current scenario, we see in a recent survey done by the Congress between July and September that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is going up and the Congress is going down. The people don't have any trust in Sidhu. Congress has seen a 20% decline according to that survey," he said.
"This election will be very different with Congress, AAP, Akali Dal, factions of the Akali Dal, and there may be another front emerging too... so, it will be a very different election," he commented. Was this front going to be his? Mr. Singh did not answer.