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Congress leader Birender Singh joins BJP

Saturday, 16 August 2014 - 6:38pm IST | Place: Jind (Haryana) | Agency: PTI

Rebel Congress leader Chaudhary Birender Singh today joined BJP ending his over four-decade association with the party in Haryana, ahead of Assembly polls due in October.

Boosted by the joining of 67-year-old Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, BJP chief Amit Shah, addressing a rally with him, claimed that Congress' time in the "state was over".

"I thought I had come here to attend a rally but there is sea of people here. Two days back, I was in Mahendergarh and now I am here for this rally and I can say with authority that Congress government is on its way out," Shah said.

"People of Haryana want change and they want to get rid of Hooda and his government's misrule," he alleged. Singh, and prominent Jat leader, who had openly revolted against Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, made his announcement of joining the BJP along with his supporters, two days after he was suspended from the party.

His close confidant Jagbir Malik, a former minister also joined the BJP along with him besides some other former MLAs.

"The path I have chosen for myself will help strengthen the BJP in Haryana in the next 15 years," Singh claimed. Singh was suspended for "gross indiscipline" and "deliberately lowering the prestige of the party".

Attacking Congress further Shah claimed, "the real survey is that we will win by 2/3rd majority in Haryana. People from all corners in Haryana are connecting with BJP and I think time will come that Congress will have to place advertisements in newspapers to the find candidates (to fight the polls)." Singh became the third leader in Haryana after Rao Inderjit Singh and former Union Minister Venod Sharma, who quit Congress in recent times.

Ruling Congress sought to play down Singh deserting the party, with party General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed maintaining that BJP was dreaming to come to power by having "opportunists" on their side.
The BJP won seven out of the total ten seats in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections while ally Haryana Janhit Congress failed to win any seat.

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