BJP Welcomes Ex Punjab Congress Chief Sunil Jakhar; Sidhu Handed One Year Imprisonment By S.C
The Bharatiya Janata Party is determined to strengthen its hold in Punjab, as the party welcomed former Congress leader from the state Sunil Jakhar on Thursday.
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party is determined to strengthen its hold in Punjab, as the party welcomed former Congress leader from the state Sunil Jakhar on Thursday. Jakhar, who had resigned from the Congress party last week, was inducted by the BJP President J.P. Nadda.
The former Congress Punjab chief was removed from all party posts in April for alleged involvement in anti-party activities. The rebel leader was issued a show-cause notice by Congress leadership for his criticism against the former Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. After resigning from Congress on May 14th, Jakhar met Union Home Minister Amit Shah here in New Delhi.
As Jakhar was welcomed by Nadda into BJP earlier on Thursday at the party headquarters, the Congress rebel proclaimed that "one can remove Sunil Jakhar from a party post but can't silence him."
"I had a 50-year-old relationship with congress, my family has been with the party for three generations since 1972. I considered it family," he said, claiming that he quit Congress, not because of any personal dispute, but "fundamental issues" with the party. There is an element of casteism in the Congress, but BJP has equality for all," Jakhar said while addressing the media.
Nadda has said that Jakhar would play a critical role for the BJP in Punjab. Sunil Jakhar is the son of veteran Congress leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker, the late Balram Jakhar. This is the second jolt to the Congress party in less than a week, as Gujarat leader Hardik Patel quit the party on May 18th. There have been rising speculations that the Patidar leader may join BJP, however, Patel has denied any decision to join the BJP or the Aam Aadmi Party.
Meanwhile, the Congress party continues to suffer major blows in the state of Punjab, after the Supreme Court sentenced former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh to one year in jail in a 34-year-old road rage case. The apex court has directed that the cricketer-turned-politician must surrender and serve a year's "rigorous imprisonment".
To the verdict, Sidhu tweeted, "Will submit to the majesty of law…".
On December 27, 1988, Sidhu got into an argument with Gurnam Singh, a resident of Patiala, over a parking spot. Mr Sidhu and his friend, Rupinder Singh Sandhu, allegedly dragged Gurnam Singh out of his car and hit him. Gurnam later died in hospital.
In 1999, a sessions court in Patiala acquitted Sidhu citing lack of evidence. Fast forward to three decades later, the family of Gurnam Singh requested the Supreme Court to review its order and consider tougher charges, upon which Sidhu has been sentenced to a yearlong prison term. Sidhu had resigned as Punjab Congress Chief earlier this year after his party suffered a massive debacle in the recently held assembly elections.