Chandigarh, Jun 4: In a major setback to the Congress in Punjab, four of its leaders and former ministers Raj Kumar Verka, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Sunder Sham Arora and Gurpreet Singh Kangar joined the BJP here on Saturday.
Former Congress MLA from Barnala Kewal Dhillon and former SAD MLAs Sarup Chand Singla and Mohinder Kaur Josh also joined the BJP.
They joined the BJP in the presence of Union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Som Parkash, state unit chief Ashwani Sharma, and senior party leaders Dushyant Gautam, Tarun Chugh, Sunil Jakhar and Manjinder Singh Sirsa.
Balbir Sidhu, a three-time MLA from Mohali, was the health minister in the previous Congress government, while Gurpreet Kangar, a three-time MLA from Rampura Phul, was the revenue minister.
Verka, a prominent Dalit leader from the Majha region, is also a three-time legislator and was the minister for social justice and and empowerment and minorities in the previous government.
Sunder Sham Arora, a former MLA from Hoshiarpur, was the industry and commerce minister in the previous Congress government.
Balbir Sidhu’s brother Amarjit Singh Sidhu, who is the mayor of Mohali corporation, also joined the BJP.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived in Chandigarh on Saturday for a meeting with party leaders and inaugurating the Khelo India Youth Games in Haryana’s Panchkula.