Big jolt to Punjab Congress; 5 key leaders join BJP in Amit Shah’s presence
In a major setback to the Congress in Punjab, five of its leaders and former ministers Raj Kumar Verka, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Sunder Sham Arora, Gurpreet Singh Kangar and Kewal Dhillon joined the BJP here on Saturday.
those joining the BJP today also include former Congress MLA Amrik Dhilon, former SAD MLA Sarup Chand Singla and expelled SAD leader Mohinder Kaur Josh.
They joined the BJP in the presence of Union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Som Parkash, state unit chief Ashwani Sharma, and senior party leaders Dushyant Gautam, Tarun Chugh, Sunil Jakhar and Manjinder Singh Sirsa.
Balbir Sidhu, a three-time MLA from Mohali, was the health minister in the previous Congress government, while Gurpreet Kangar, a three-time MLA from Rampura Phul, was the revenue minister.
Verka, a prominent Dalit leader from the Majha region, is also a three-time legislator and was the minister for social justice and empowerment and minorities in the previous government
Sunder Sham Arora, a former MLA from Hoshiarpur, was the industry and commerce minister in the previous Congress government.
Balbir Sidhu’s brother Amarjit Singh Sidhu, who is the mayor of Mohali corporation, also joined the BJP.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived in Chandigarh on Saturday for a meeting with party leaders and inaugurating the Khelo India Youth Games in Haryana’s Panchkula.
Meanwhile, Punjab Congress leader Kuljit Nagra said certain party leaders (who feared being implicated in some cases by the central agencies) were being forced to join the BJP.
Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring targeted the BJP for making these leaders join the party. He said that at a time when Punjab is having law-and-order problems, the BJP is busy poaching leaders from other parties. (With PTI inputs)