In yet another setback to the Congress, seven Congress leaders including four former ministers joined the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) at the party office in Chandigarh on Saturday.
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Former ministers Raj Kumar Verka, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Gurpreet Singh Kangar, and Sundar Sham Arora were among the seven Congress leaders who joined the BJP today.
Apart from them, Congress leaders Kewal S Dhillon, Kamaljeet S Dhillon and the sitting Mayor of Congress in Mohali, Amarjeet S Sidhu also joined the BJP here today.
In addition, two Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders Bibi Mohinder Kaur Josh and Sarup Chand Singla also joined the BJP today. Earlier in the day, Raj K Verka, Sunder S Arora, Gurpreet S Kangar and Balbir Sidhu were seen with the BJP leaders Sunil Jakhar and Manjinder Singh Sirsa in Chandigarh.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also arrived at the Chandigarh office after the said leaders joined BJP.
However, the Punjab MLA from Congress, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring wished a sarcastic ‘good luck’ to the members who quit the party and said that he is “grateful” for the seats to be vacant for young leaders.
“Best of luck for Joining BJP. Grateful that the ‘elite’ who enjoyed all the privileges in the party have vacated the space for younger leadership from the common background,” he tweeted.
In the past few months, the country has witnessed a number of leaders from various Opposition parties joining the BJP.
Recently on Thursday, Former Congress leader Hardik Patel, who quit the Congress last month, joined the BJP- months ahead of the Assembly elections in Gujarat, while the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) retired colonel Ajay Kothiyal had also joined the party in Uttarakhand on May 24.
The development came amid the regular shifts taking place from different parties to the centre-ruling party, including Congress’ Sunil Jakhar, Pramod Madhwaraj, and Ashwin Kotwal.
Jakhar, being the former Congress leader and former Punjab party chief joined the BJP on May 19, whereas Madhwaraj- the former Karnataka Minister was welcomed by the state party chief Basavaraj Bommai on May 7. Madhwaraj had alleged that “bad experiences” in the party led to “political suffocation”.
Kotwal had resigned from Congress on May 3 and joined the party in the Centre on the same day.