Chandigarh | Jagran Politics Desk: In a major setback for the Congress in Punjab ahead of the upcoming polls, two sitting party MLAs on Tuesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. The Congress leaders who switched sides just ahead of Punjab Assembly Elections 2022 are MLA from Qadian, Fatehjang Singh Bajwa and Shri Hargobindpur Sahib MLA Balwinder Singh Laddi. 

Bajwa, MLA from Qadian, is the brother of senior Congress leader Pratap Singh Bajwa. Meanwhile, starting his political innings, former India cricket Dinesh Mongia also joined the BJP today along with Bajwa and Laddi. Mongia, 44, took the primary membership of the ruling party at the Centre. 

These joinings came a day after former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and former Union minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa met the BJP top brass after which an announcement for a formal alliance was made between the BJP and the parties of these two leaders. Welcoming the leaders into his party fold, Shekhawat said leaders from other parties are joining the BJP as it is gaining ground in Punjab.

Meanwhile, Former MLA Akali Dal Gurtej Singh Gudhiyana, Former Member of Parliament United Akali Dal Rajdev Singh Khalsa and Retired ADC and Advocate in Punjab Haryana High Court Madhumeet also joined the saffron brigade ahead of the polls scheduled to take place early next year.

For the past several days, the BJP has been roping in leaders and renowned personalities from Punjab to strengthen its position in the state where it has always been a junior partner in the alliance.

In the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, Congress won an absolute majority in the state by winning 77 seats and ousted the SAD-BJP government after 10 years. Aam Aadmi Party emerged as the second-largest party winning 20 seats in 117 member Punjab Legislative Assembly. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) could only manage to win 15 seats while the BJP secured 3 seats.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan