Jind (Haryana), Aug 16 : Senior Congress leader Birender Singh, who was suspended from the party this week, Saturday joined the BJP in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah and other senior party leaders of Haryana at a rally here. Birender Singh, the grandson of well known farmers’ rights leader Sir Chhotu Ram, is a towering Jat leader in Haryana. His joining the Bharatiya Janata Party will give a boost to the party among the dominant Jat community.
Singh, a former general secretary of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC), aspired to become Haryana chief minister but the Congress high command did not oblige him. He was likely to join the UPA government in 2013 but his name was scuttled at the last moment, apparently under pressure from Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s camp.
A sitting Rajya Sabha member from Haryana, Singh was upset with the Congress leadership for the past two years and was openly critical of the Haryana chief minister. Both leaders are also related. Singh remained associated with the Congress for over four decades. A member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) till recently before being expelled from the body, Singh had met Amit Shah in New Delhi ahead of Haryana’s forthcoming assembly polls.
The ‘Haryana Nirman Rally’ was organised by Birender Singh here Saturday as a show of strength for the upcoming assembly polls. BJP president Amit Shah, state BJP president Ram Bilas Sharma and other senior BJP leaders attended the rally. ”We have to end the Congress misrule in Haryana. People have to ensure that the BJP wins a majority on its own,” Shah said while addressing the rally.
Reacting to Birender Singh joining the BJP, Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar said this will not affect the Congress. ”Many people run away from parties just before elections. The BJP has no base in Haryana. So they are welcoming all such runaway leaders,” Tanwar said. Haryana has 10 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP won seven of them in the recent parliamentary polls. The 90-member Haryana assembly goes to polls by October this year.