Punjab: Ex-India cricketer Dinesh Mongia, 2 sitting Congress MLAs join BJP | India News
Former cricketer Dinesh Mongia joins Bharatiya Janata Party in presence of Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat at BJP headquarters, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (ANI photo)
NEW DELHI: A day after the formal announcement of alliance among BJP, former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, former Akali Dal veteran, several prominent faces from the state, including former India cricketer Dinesh Mongia and two sitting Congress MLAs, joined BJP at the party headquarters on Tuesday.
The Congress legislators who joined BJP are Fateh Singh Bajwa, MLA from Qadian and brother of senior Congress leader Pratap Singh Bajwa and Balwinder Singh Laddi, sitting MLA from Hargobindpur.
The two Congress MLAs joined the saffron party a day after another senior Congress MLA, Rana Gurmit S Sondhi, joined BJP, reinforcing the assessment in certain quarters that BJP- Amarinder- Dhindsa Front may turn into an alternative platform for those who cannot be accommodated by Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal. Sources said Fateh Singh was apprehensive of losing out to his sibling for the ticket for Qadian. There was also uncertainty about Laddi getting renominated.
Still many found it intriguing that the former Congress leaders chose BJP over Amarinder Singh’s Punjab Lok Congress. These joinings came a day after Amarinder Singh and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, a former Union minister, met the BJP brass after which an announcement for a formal alliance was made between BJP and the parties of these two leaders.
Welcoming the leaders into the party-fold, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who is BJP’s poll in-charge for Punjab, said leaders from other parties are joining the saffron party as it is gaining ground in Punjab. Later at a press conference, Shekhawat shared details of the committees, which will look into the nitty-gritty of the tripartite alliance and work on a common manifesto.
“State general secretaries of BJP Subhash Sharma and Dayal Singh will be our representatives whereas General (Retd) Shergill Raninder Singh Tikka will represent Amarinder Singh’s party,” Shekhawat said and added that Justice (Retd) Nirmal Singh and Parwinder Singh will be representatives of Dhindsa’s party.