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Amarinder Singh Likely To Join BJP, Merge Party 8 Months After Congress Exit

Singh had dismissed the claim of joining the BJP last month after his meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah.

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Captain Amarinder Singh, former Chief Minister of Punjab who quit Congress last year, is likely to join the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), sources told The Quint.

Singh, who is in London for spinal surgery, will most likely merge his Punjab Lok Congress party with the BJP after his return next week.

The leader had floated his own party, Punjab Lok Congress, after quitting the Congress amidst a power tussle with Navjot Singh Sidhu in September 2021.

In his resignation letter to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, Singh had said that he had been humiliated by the party leadership and was "deeply hurt" by the conduct of the Gandhis.

During the state Assembly elections this year, Singh allied with the BJP but refuted the claims of joining the latter. The leader, however, lost his home seat of Patiala against Aam Aadmi Party's Ajit Pal Singh Kohli.

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Earlier this year, several Congress leaders joined the BJP, including Raj K Verka, Gurpreet S Kangar, Balbir Sidhu, Kewal S Dhillon, Sunder Sham Arora, and Kamaljeet S Dhillon.

Singh's Stint with Different Parties

Amarinder Singh has switched sides many times in his political career, going from the Congress to Akali Dal, and also launching his own party.

Once a commissioned officer in the Indian army, Singh started his career in politics in 1968, and in 1980, won the general election from the Patiala Parliamentary seat on a Congress ticket.

He, however, quit the Congress party over Operation Blue Star, a military operation conducted by the Indian security forces in the Golden Temple.

Singh then joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in 1986, but he quickly resigned due to moral objections to the government's decisions.

In 1992, Singh formed his own party, the Akali Dal (Panthic), which he merged with the SAD. However, after SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal denied him a ticket, Singh returned to the Congress in 1997.

Two years later, he was appointed the chief of Punjab Congress, and finally, became the chief minister of Punjab in 2002, a post he again held in 2017.

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