Suspended Congress leader shares stage with BJP chief

Jind (Haryana): Senior Congress leader Birender Singh, who was suspended from the Congress this week, Saturday shared political stage with BJP president Amit Shah and other senior BJP leaders of Haryana at a rally.

With this, Birender Singh joining the BJP remains a mere formality.

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Singh, who was member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) till recently before being expelled from the body, had met Amit Shah in New Delhi ahead of the Haryana’s forthcoming assembly polls.

Singh was upset with the Congress leadership over the past two years and was openly critical of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The ‘Haryana Nirman Rally’ was organised by Birender Singh here Saturday as a show of strength for the upcoming assembly polls.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, state BJP president Ram Bilas Sharma and other senior BJP leaders attended the rally.

Birender Singh, grandson of well known farmers’ leader Sir Chhotu Ram, is a towering Jat leader in Haryana. His joining the BJP will give a boost to the BJP 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 the Hooda camp.

He is a sitting Rajya Sabha member from Haryana.

Reacting to Birender Singh joining the BJP, Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar said that 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 leaders,” Tanwar said.