New Delhi, Dec 3 : The BJP, which is likely to contest the Punjab assembly polls on its own for the first time after its ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) walked away, will be banking on leaders from the opposition parties and prominent personalities to make its electoral presence felt in the state. In the last assembly polls in 2017, the BJP had won only three out of the 23 seats it contested.
In next year's assembly polls the saffron party is trying to increase its strength in the Punjab assembly by inducting leaders from other political parties and prominent personalities in the state. The saffron party believes that these leaders will help them in winning the assembly polls. "Joining of senior leaders from other parties will definitely benefit the party in the election. Many of them are joining without preconditions or assurance of a ticket. Their ticket will be decided on their winnability. But, there is no doubt that the BJP is emerging stronger with each passing day," a senior party leader said.
A party insider pointed out that while prominent personalities help in building a positive perception in favour of the party in the run up to the election, strong or big leaders help in strengthening the organisation at the ground level.
A senior BJP leader said that the process of people joining us is on and more people will join in the future from different walks of life including leaders from other parties. "Joining of senior leaders from rival political parties or prominent personalities shows that the BJP is gaining ground in Punjab and getting stronger day by day. After SAD broke its alliance with us, it was believed that the BJP has no presence in the state but the way more and more people are joining the party shows our strong presence," he said.
On Friday, former Punjab DGP Sarbdeep Singh Virk, Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sarabjit Singh Makkar, former chairman of Punjab cooperative bank Avtar Singh Zira, industrialist Harcharan Singh Ranauta and other personalities from Punjab joined the saffron party.
On December 1, SAD leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa had joined the BJP. On August 2, five SAD leaders including former national general secretary of Akali Dal's women wing, Amanjot Kaur Ramoowalia, and SAD leaders Gurpreet Singh Shahpur, Chand Singh Chatha, Baljinder Singh Dakoha and Pritam Singh had joined the BJP. In June, six prominent personalities Harinder Singh Kahlon, Jagmohan Singh Saini, Nirmal Singh, Kuldeep Singh Kahlon, Jaswinder Singh Dhillon and Jaibans Singh had joined the saffron party.