The BJP on Wednesday reciprocated warmly to former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh's suggestion for an alliance with the party in the upcoming state assembly polls, lauding him as a patriot and asserting that it is open to joining hands with those who put national interest first.
BJP general secretary and party in-charge of Punjab affairs Dushyant Gautam said Singh, who has announced that he will quit the Congress and launch a party, is moving away from the dynasty and towards nationalism.
Gautam's comments came a day after Amarinder Singh said he will soon launch his political party and is hopeful of a seat arrangement with the BJP if the farmers' issue is resolved in their interest.
On his condition of resolving farmers' issue, the BJP leader said Singh did not talk about ending the farmers' agitation.
"He talked about farmers' issues. We are committed to it and are working for the welfare of farmers. When the time comes, both will sit together and discuss farmers' issues," Gautam told PTI.
As far as the agitation is concerned, it is politically motivated, he alleged.
"Our main agenda is nationalism and keeping the nation first. All those parties who want to form alliances with us on this agenda are welcome," he said.
Amarinder Singh was once a soldier and his stand on the issues of national security should be praised, the BJP leader said.
"....He (Amarinder Singh) was a soldier. He knows about the threats to the country and how to secure it is.
"He is patriotic. And whenever it was a matter of national security and security at the borders, we have appreciated his stand," Gautam said, adding that nationalists are not "untouchables" to the BJP.
Amarinder Singh will not hug the Pakistan army chief to be a "hero" in the Pakistani media, the BJP leader said in a swipe at Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was seen instrumental in Amarinder's ouster as Punjab chief minister and fallout with the Congress.
Gautam, however, indicated that nothing has been finalised yet as "Amarinder Singh still needs to form his party and put forward his views".
Singh resigned as the chief minister of Punjab last month after a bitter feud with Sidhu and infighting in the state unit. The party replaced him with Charanjit Singh Channi.
After resigning, Singh had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.
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