Amarinder Singh Set To Join BJP, Merge Party 8 Months After Congress Exit

Amarinder Singh, or "Captain", quit the Congress, his party of five decades, after he was replaced as the Chief Minister of Punjab last year.

Amarinder Singh Set To Join BJP, Merge Party 8 Months After Congress Exit

Amarinder Singh quit the Congress after he was replaced as Chief Minister last year

Chandigarh:

Amarinder Singh, who quit the Congress last year, is likely to join the BJP soon, sources said today.

The 80-year-old former Chief Minister is in London for a back surgery. He is likely to merge his Punjab Lok Congress party with the BJP after his return next week.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Amarinder Singh after his surgery on Sunday.

Amarinder Singh, or "Captain", quit the Congress, his party of five decades, after he was replaced as the Chief Minister of Punjab last year. His abrupt exit followed months of feuding with Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had been demanding change ahead of the Punjab election.

Mr Singh, in a letter to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, said he had been humiliated thrice by the leadership and couldn't take it anymore. He made it clear that he still had politics in him yet, and that he was not about to walk into the sunset.

After quitting, the three-time Chief Minister denied he was joining the BJP - a course taken by many disgruntled Congress leaders over the past few years - and launched his own party. He contested the April-May Punjab election in an alliance with the BJP.

The Congress lost power to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The BJP and Amarinder Singh failed to make a huge impact. The Captain lost from the Patiala seat.

Since the election, other senior Punjab Congress leaders have quit the party and joined the BJP; former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar is among them.

But Amarinder Singh's wife Preneet Kaur remains a Congress MP from Patiala, a fact that does not sit well with the BJP.

Preneet Kaur, a former Union Minister, has reportedly urged the BJP to field her daughter Jai Inder Kaur from her Lok Sabha seat.

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