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Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Thursday that he is quitting Congress but made it clear that he will not be joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

“I will resign…will not stay in the Congress party," he said, adding that he was still thinking through his options in the interest of Punjab, whose security was the predominant priority for him.

Singh had resigned as chief minister on 18 September after accusing the Congress of humiliating him.

“I will not be treated in this humiliating manner…I will not take such insults," he said, adding that his principles and beliefs do not allow him to stay in the Congress any longer.

Slamming Navjot Singh Sidhu, Singh said he was a mere crowd-puller and does not know how to carry the team along.

“Captain Amarinder Singh has made it clear he was not joining the BJP but had no intention of continuing in Congress, which he said was going downhill with senior leaders completely ignored and not given a voice," Singh's office was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The statement comes after Singh's meeting with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Union home minister Amit Shah gave rise to speculations of him joining the saffron front. 

Sources close to Singh had said the former chief minister is learnt to have also discussed the internal security situation in Punjab with Shah.

With the farmers' protests also seen to be affecting the BJP's prospects in western UP, the Modi government may intensify efforts to end the stir.

Uttar Pradesh and Punjab are among the five states going to the assembly polls early next year.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu will meet Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi for talks on Thursday.

The move comes a day after Channi reached out to Sidhu and offered to resolve issues through talks.

“Chief Minister has invited me for talks … will reciprocate by reaching Punjab Bhawan, Chandigarh at 3:00 PM today, he is welcome for any discussions!," Sidhu, who had on Tuesday resigned as the state Congress chief, said

Sidhu on Wednesday had raised questions over the appointments of director-general of police, state's advocate general and “tainted" leaders.

The Punjab unit of the Congress is in turmoil after Amarinder Singh was removed as chief minister and its chief Sidhu resigned from his post ahead of the crucial assembly elections in the state early next year. Factionalism in Punjab Congress has come to the fore over recent appointments of the new cabinet and other top officials.

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