Top Congress leaders join BJP in Punjab

Chandigarh: In a setback to the Opposition Congress in Punjab, four former ministers and an ex MLA switched loyalties and joined the BJP in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Former ministers Gurpreet Singh Kangar, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Raj Kumar Verka and Sunder Sham Arora and ex-MLA Kewal Singh Dhillon were inducted into the BJP at a function here in the presence of BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

While Verka was the Dalit face of the Congress, Arora was the working president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Sidhu and Kangar are Jat-Sikh leaders.

Kewal Dhillon, a former Congress MLA from Barnala, also joined the BJP. Former MLA Sarup Chand Singla, who quit the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in March, also joined the saffron party.

Except for Dhillon, all the Congress leaders who joined the BJP had lost the February 20 elections.

Earlier, former Punjab chief Sunil Jakhar, a prominent state’s Hindu face, joined the saffron party.

He shared a video of the rebel Congress sitting with him in Panchkula before their joining to the BJP.

Responding to mass exodus of leaders, state Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring said the switchover was a “blessing in disguise”.

He said the BJP had taken “trash” into its fold and would realise in the next elections what gift Shah was taking with him.

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