Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday accused the Congress of not taking steps to procure modern equipment for defense forces during the UPA governments despite India being surrounded by two hostile neighbors and said China had gone ahead of India in terms of weaponry and “it is the fault of Congress”.
Amarinder Singh formally joined the BJP at the party headquarters here. Punjab Lok Congress, headed by him, also merged with the BJP.
Amarinder Singh said it is time to join a party that is looking after the interests of the country. He said during the tenures of AK Antony as defense minister in UPA governments “not even a one type of weapon was ever purchased for Army, Navy or Airforce”.
“We are hemmed in by two hostile nations China and Pakistan and we (Punjab) are the ones suffering. It is our duty to protect our state and country. Unfortunately, China is way ahead of us in weaponry and it is the fault of Congress. I am not saying this because I am no longer part of Congress but I don’t think that in the four terms that AK Anthony was there, not even a one type of weapon was ever purchased for Army, Navy or Airforce. Now weaponry is coming which is necessary for us if we are to secure our nation”.
Antony was Union Defence Minister for the most part of the two Congress-led UPA governments from 2004 to 2014. Amarinder Singh also referred to efforts by Pakistan to create trouble in Punjab.
“Punjab is a border state, and I have seen our relations with Pakistan deteriorating…Drones are coming into our territory now to create complete chaos in Punjab. China is also not far from us. It’s our duty to protect our state and the country,” he said.
Amarinder Singh BJP was looking after the interests of the country. “Now is the time that we should think about what we should do for our country and for ourselves… we have seen with Congress for so many years and now is the time that we should go to a party that looks after the interest of the country and that is BJP,” he said.
Answering a query on his wife Preneet Kaur being a Congress MP, Amarinder Singh quipped it is not necessary that he remains in the party in which his wife is a member.
Amarinder Singh served Congress for long years and resigned as Chief Minister in September last year ahead of assembly polls. He later also resigned from the Congress and formed Punjab Lok Congress which tied up with BJP and SAD (Sanyukt) for the assembly polls held early this year.
Amarinder Singh’s joining the BJP is a big shot in the arm for the party in the border state. The BJP now has a credible Sikh face in Punjab who has been active in state politics for several decades.