Wednesday, April 17, 2024
India News

Suspended Congress MP Preneet Kaur, Wife Of Amarinder Singh, Joins BJP


INDIA allies Congress and the AAP are contesting separately in Punjab.

Chandigarh:

Continuing to strengthen its ranks weeks before the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has inducted Preneet Kaur, suspended Congress MP and wife of former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, into the party. Ms Kaur is the MP from Patiala and is likely to contest from the seat on a BJP ticket this time. 

After stepping down as the chief minister in 2021, Mr Singh had formed the Punjab Lok Congress and then merged it with the BJP the following year. Ms Kaur was suspended from the Congress in February last year for “anti-party activities” that were helping the BJP. 

Joining the BJP on Thursday in the presence of National General Secretaries Vinod Tawde and Tarun Chugh and the party’s Punjab chief Sunil Jakhar, who was also in the Congress earlier, Ms Kaur praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his contribution to the country’s development. 

“I am happy that I am joining the BJP today. In the past 25 years, I have worked in the Lok Sabha and the Assembly. The time has come when everyone should come together and take the work of PM Modi and his policies forward,” she said. 

Mr Tawde said the inclusion of leaders like Preenet Kaur will make the party stronger in Punjab.

“Preneet Kaur ji is a parliamentarian who has proved her potential by working on many committees. When such people come to BJP, especially in Punjab where public opinion is being formed against the state government, it makes us strong. BJP is emerging in the mind of the common Punjabi. The development of Punjab, as desired by PM Modi, will become stronger with Preneet Kaur ji,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

When Ms Kaur was asked why she had quit the Congress, she said, “I don’t want to go into the past. I had a good innings with the Congress party and I hope I have a better innings with the BJP.”

The Patiala seat has been won by Ms Kaur four times, including in 2019, and had also been held by Amarinder Singh in the past. 

Ms Kaur’s exit will be a setback for the Congress, which had won eight of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab in 2019, but faces a challenge from INDIA ally AAP – which is now in power in the state – as well as the BJP.

Despite agreeing on seat-sharing pacts in Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Goa and Chandigarh, the AAP and the Congress have decided to go it alone in Punjab, where they are currently the two principal parties. The AAP also released a list of eight candidates, including five state ministers, from Punjab for the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday.

The BJP, on the other hand, is trying to strengthen its presence in the state by reviving its alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal, which had quit the NDA over the farmer protests in 2020. 

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