Former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and Sunil Jhakar in BJP National Executive

BJP National Executive
BJP National Executive

BJP inducted former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and former state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar into its national executive on Friday.

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Among the three new members of the saffron party’s national executive are two former Congress leaders from Punjab. The third new member is Swatantardev Singh from Uttar Pradesh.

An additional Punjab Congress leader who joined the BJP, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, has been invited as a special invitee. The state has also appointed veteran BJP leaders Manoranjan Kalia and Amanjot Kaur Ramoowalia as special invitees. Vishnu Deo Sai from Chhattisgarh and Madan Kaushik from Uttarakhand were added as special invitees.

Also, the BJP appointed Jaiveer Shergill, a lawyer who had quit the Congress in August, as its national spokesperson.

Amarinder floated the Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) after parting ways with the Congress, but none of the PLC candidates fared well in the February 20 Punjab elections.

In September, almost exactly a year after being unceremoniously replaced by Charanjit Singh Channi as Chief Minister, Amarinder merged his PLC with the BJP. In May, Jakhar joined the BJP, and in December, Sodhi did the same.

Harjit Singh Grewal, BJP national executive leader, said Punjab’s tall political leaders would “attract more leaders into the party”. It will dispel the impression that the BJP is untouchable in Punjab, he said.

However, the new additions have also struck a discordant note. While referring to another former Congress leader who has landed a position in the BJP’s new organizational structure, a senior Congress turncoat commented, “There was a hope for change, but a nazar wattoo (an object to keep evil eyes away) has also been appointed in the new structure.”

Former Akali leader Amanjot Kaur Ramoowalia is the daughter of former Union minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia.

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