After 10-yr stint in BJP, Haryana's Jat leader Birender Singh rejoins Congress

by IANS |

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) After spending a decade in the BJP, former Union Minister and Haryana’s one of the tallest Jat leaders, Birender Singh and his wife Premlata Singh rejoined the Congress in Delhi on Tuesday.

Their son and sitting MP Brijendra Singh joined the Congress last month. The family commands a big influence in Haryana, which will likely go to the Assembly polls in October after the Lok Sabha elections for the 10 seats on May 25.

Prem Lata Singh is a former BJP legislator from Haryana, while Birender Singh served as Union Minister in the first Modi Cabinet. He previously served Congress for over four decades. They joined in the presence of Mukul Wasnik and two-time Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda, among others.

On the reason for quitting the BJP, Birender Singh said he joined the BJP in 2014 due to “certain reasons”.

"When I joined BJP, I knew the ideology of this party would be different and there would be some differences between the ideologies of the two parties. Later on, I experienced that there was a wider gap,” he said.

On the farmers’ agitation, he said he had raised the issue on party platforms and urged that their grievances be resolved. “I felt that while I was giving suggestions, those were not being heeded.”

A well-known leader from the Jat community, Birender Singh joined the BJP in August 2014, just before the elections to the Haryana Assembly.

His induction into the Congress is seen as a move to woo the Jat voters in Haryana, Rajasthan, and western Uttar Pradesh.

On March 10, Birender Singh’s son Brijendra resigned as a BJP MP and joined the Congress citing “compelling political reasons”.

Brijendra Singh quit the BJP five months after his father gave an ultimatum to the party at a rally in Jind that he would leave the BJP if it continued an alliance with the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP).

Two days after Brijendra Singh joined the Congress, the BJP snapped its ties with the JJP.

Brijendra Singh is the great-grandson of prominent Jat leader Sir Chhotu Ram.

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