Rush to join BJP gathers pace in Punjab as countdown to assembly polls begins


Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi of Congress who was a Cabinet Minister in the Punjab Government joined BJP recently

As the countdown for the Punjab assembly has begun, there is a rush of politicians from different parties wanting to join the BJP.

Very recently, sitting Congress MLAs Rana Gurmit Sodhi, who was a cabinet minister   in the Captain Amarinder Singh government, Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa and two time MLA Arvind Khanna have joined the BJP. Former Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Sarbjit Singh Makkar too has joined BJP. Former OSD to captain Amarinder Singh, Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha and PPCC spokesperson Rajinder Singh Badheri have also joined the BJP. Every day there are also reports coming from district headquarters of leaders switching sides to join the BJP.

After the setback BJP suffered in view of the successful farmers’ agitation, now is the time when the party seems to be gaining ground in Punjab. Though, it is difficult to say at this stage as to how many seats these leaders will succeed in winning for the BJP. But, a tempo is surely being built in support of the saffron party which had been contesting elections in alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) as its junior partner.

This is the first time that the BJP and SAD will be fighting elections independently  of each other in the last about three decades. The SAD had broken the alliance with the BJP after the controversial passing of the three farm laws.

In the coming elections BJP has forged an alliance with Captain Amarinder Singh's newly formed Punjab Lok Congress and SAD (Sanyukt) led by Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, a former Akali Dal leader.

Another factor which is helping the BJP to attract politicians from different parties is that the Congress is a sharply divided house with Captain loyalists seeing no future under the leadership of Navjot Singh Sidhu, the new PPCC chief, known as the arch rival of Captain Amarinder Singh. The Captain faction leaders are not sure whether they will get party tickets to contest elections. Moreover, Sidhu has gone on record that many sitting party MLAs and serving ministers may not be fielded this time, pushing them in the BJP fold.

The SAD led by Sukhbir Badal is yet to emerge clean from the sacrilege issue making its political future bleak besides with little hold on urban Hindu vote bank as BJP is not by its side. This is the reason that urban party cadre is being wooed by the BJP successfully.

Also read: Congress plunges into deep turmoil ahead of Punjab polls as Sidhu and Channi are at loggerheads over CM’s post