BJP expands its footprints in the Punjab former minister, MLA among former Congressmen, Akali leaders join BJP

In a major setback to the Congress in Punjab and a big shot for the BJP, four former ministers have joined the saffron party as it expands its footprints in the state.

Former Congress ministers Raj Kumar Verka, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Gurpreet Singh Kangar and Sunder Sham Arora are among the leaders who were welcomed into the BJP in the presence of Punjab BJP President Ashwini Sharma, BJP National General Secretary Tarun Chugh and Union Cabinet Minister Gajendra.

Former SAD leader Mohinder Kaur Josh from Sham Chaurasi assembly constituency and former Congress minister Balbir Singh Sidhu’s brother and Mohali Mayor Amarjit Singh Sidhu joined the BJP.

A video of the four along with former state Congress president Sunil Jakhar, who joined the BJP last month, had gone viral. Former Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa was also seen in the video, who had joined the party.

State Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring termed the switchover a “blessing in disguise”. He said the BJP has taken “garbage” into its fold and will realize in the next elections what the “tohfa” (gift) Shah was carrying with him. He said that Congress had to face political defeat because of such leaders. In the elections held on February 20, the party could win only 18 seats in the 117-member assembly. Waring was one of the winners.

Kewal Dhillon, a former MLA expelled from Congress from Barnala, is also set to join the BJP. Former SAD MLA Sarup Chand Singla, who left the SAD in March this year, is also joining the saffron party.

With this, at least three senior politicians from the Malwa region- Kangar, a former MLA from Rampura Phool; Singla, former MLA from Bathinda; And former Mohali MLA Sidhu will join BJP.

The AAP stormed to power amid a very strong wave for “badlaav” (change) in its favour, winning an unprecedented 92 seats.

Meanwhile, AAP leader Raghav Chadha tweeted that “Punjab Congress’s garbage” is joining the saffron party. “The BJP has become a dustbin for the Congress dustbin,” he wrote.

In the elections held on February 20, except Dhillon, all the leaders who were preparing to join the BJP were defeated.

According to sources, Jakhar and Sirsa have played a key role in the recent switchover due to their constant exposure to turncoats.

State Congress working president Kuljeet Singh Nagra said in a video message, “At a time when there was a big tragedy in Punjab (singer Sidhu Musewala’s murder) and when there was a need to share the grief of Punjabis with Amit Shah.

An aide of Jakhar said family members of four-time Congress MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon are also joining the saffron party, who contested this year as an independent.

Amarinder Singh targets Congress after 5 senior leaders join BJP

Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh took a dig at the Congress and congratulated party leaders joining the BJP and called the move “the tip of the iceberg”.

Former ministers Raj Kumar Verka, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Sunder Sham Arora and Gurpreet Singh Kanger of Grand Old Party as well as former MLA Kewal Dhillon joined the BJP.

“My best wishes to Balbir S Sidhu, Gurpreet S Kangar, Dr Raj Kumar Verka, Sunder Sham Arora and Kewal Singh Dhillon for taking steps in the right direction and joining BJP today. This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Amarinder Singh said in a tweet.

The exit of five Congress leaders comes days after former Punjab chief Sunil Jakhar also joined the BJP. Jakhar was inducted into the BJP on May 19 in the presence of the party’s national president JP Nadda.

The Congress was voted out of power in the Punjab Assembly elections earlier this year. Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, which was the second-largest party in the state, got a thumping majority in the state.

Captain Amarinder Singh had quit the Congress last year after stepping down from the chief minister’s post. Singh then left the Congress and formed his own party months before the Punjab elections.

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