Amarinder Singh, Ex Punjab Chief Minister From Congress, Is Now A BJP Man

Amarinder Singh also merged his Punjab Lok Congress, which he had formed last year after exiting the Congress, with the BJP.

Amarinder Singh had met with BJP chief JP Nadda this morning.

New Delhi:

Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh joined the BJP today, nearly a year after he quit the Congress following his abrupt sacking as Chief Minister before the Punjab assembly elections. He was welcomed to the BJP by Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju. Earlier in the day, he had met with BJP chief JP Nadda.

Amarinder Singh, 80, also merged his Punjab Lok Congress with the BJP. He had formed the party last year, soon after exiting the Congress, his party of five decades.

Seven former MLAs and one former MP joined the BJP along with Amarinder Singh.

Speaking at the event, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said Mr Singh has always kept national interest over party politics. Citing his support for the controversial expansion in jurisdiction of the Border Security Forces in Punjab, Mr Tomar said Amarinder Singh joining the BJP shows his commitment for peace and security in the sensitive border state.

The former Chief Minister contested the Punjab election in an alliance with the BJP, but failed to make a mark. He lost on his home turf Patiala Urban. None of his candidates won either.

Mr Singh, popularly known as “Captain”, recently returned from London after spinal surgery and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah last week.

After his meeting with Amit Shah on September 12, Mr Singh said he held a very productive discussion on subjects like “national security, rising cases of narco-terrorism in Punjab and the future roadmap for the state's overall holistic development”.

Mr Singh, a two-time Chief Minister, belongs to the former Patiala royal family. In September last year, the Congress replaced him as Chief Minister and chose Charanjit Singh Channi, but the party lost the election in February to Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).