BJP on Friday received a severe jolt with veteran party leader and former state minister Satpal Gosain, along with several party leaders and supporters from Ludhiana, joined the Punjab Congress, which also witnessed the induction of AAP prospective candidate from Maur and several SAD leaders into the party fold.
Captain Amarinder welcomed the joining as a sign of the massive tide in favor of his party, which he said was the only real choice for the voters of Punjab, who were completely disillusioned with the anti-people policies of the SAD-BJP ruling alliance and the corruption prevailing in AAP.
Gosain, a veteran BJP leader and three-time MLA from Ludhiana, joined the party along with three-time and sitting BJP Councillor from Ludhiana Gurdeep Singh Neetu, who was one of the most prominent Sikh faces of BJP in Ludhiana. Gosain is a former state Health Minister and was also the Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. Another BJP leader to enter the Congress fold is Amit Gosain, Ludhiana BJP spokesperson and grandson of Satpal Gosain.
AAP’s prospective candidate from Maur,, Simrat Kaur Dhaliwal, who was the party’s Punjab Women Wing president, said she had decided to quit Arvind Kejriwal’s party as it had demanded a hefty Rs. 50 lakh for her for the seat. Terming AAP’s promises to the people of Punjab a complete farce, she said they were violating all principles they had stood for and were selling tickets for exorbitant sums. Her joining comes just three days after an AAP candidate quit the party to join Congress.
Another AAP leader to join the Congress was Ashok Prashar Pappi, who decided to return home to the Congress less than five months after he quit the party to come out in support of Kejriwal. Pappi, who was Congress candidate from Ludhiana East in 2012, said AAP was a party of corrupt individuals who were exploiting the people for their vested interests.
Rakesh Prashar, a sitting Congress councillor who had also switched to AAP, has now returned to the Congress after suffering major disenchantment in AAP.
Among the joinees were also two senior SAD leaders, including Birender Goel, who has been brought into the Congress fold by former chief minister and senior party leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, against whom he had contested on BJP ticket way back in 1992. Goel has joined Congress along with a dozen of his supporters and said hundreds of other supporters of his would be joining the election campaign of Bhattal, the Congress candidate from Lehra.
Janmohan Sharma, another senior Congress leader who had joined SAD in March 2014, has also returned to the Congress fold. Sharma, a former Ludhiana District Congress Committee (Urban) president, said the SAD was a gang of corrupt people and mafia run by the Badals.