Former Army chief Gen Joginder Jaswant Singh joins BJP

General J J Singh is the second Army chief after Gen V K Singh who has joined the BJP. The former army chief had left SAD in 2018.

Image shows BJP supporters during a party rally. Image used for representational purposes only. (Source: PTI)

Chandigarh: Ahead of the Punjab Assembly polls, former Army chief Gen Joginder Jaswant Singh on Tuesday joined the BJP here in the presence of the party leadership, including Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Shekhawat and Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma welcomed Singh into the party fold here.

General J J Singh is the second Army chief after Gen V K Singh who has joined the BJP. The former army chief had left the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in 2018.

General J J Singh had joined the SAD in 2017 and had unsuccessfully contested against the then Congress leader Amarinder Singh from Patiala during the Assembly elections that year.

J J Singh, who had also served as the governor of Arunachal Pradesh, was the first Sikh to be appointed as the Army chief in 2005.

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Ajmer Singh, brother of Akali MLA Sharanjit Dhillon, and former DGP, CRPF, S S Sandhu, who had also served as the IG Jammu and Kashmir, were among those who joined the BJP here on Tuesday.

The BJP is contesting the state Assembly polls in alliance with former chief minister Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Lok Congress and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa-led Shiromani Akali Ddal (Sanyukt).

When asked if any decision has been taken on seat sharing, Shekhawat said it has almost been finalised.

Asked about AAP’s Punjab unit president Bhagwant Mann being declared as party’s chief ministerial face, Shekhawat said though it was an internal matter of any party but recalled allegations of Mann being in an inebriated state while attending parliament.

He said the biggest problem which Punjab today faces is drug menace.

Shekhawat alleged that a person whose videos of being drunk have been shown by the media earlier and if that person is the CM face then what kind of example we are trying to set for the youth of Punjab.

“Through you (media), I want to ask these questions to Arvind Kejriwal,” he stated.

At a 2019 rally in Barnala, in the presence of Kejriwal and his mother, Mann had vowed to give up liquor.

Mann had then accused his political rivals of defaming him by portraying him as a “born drunkard”.

The charge came up again in a TV interview on Tuesday.

“I have countered this. The public has also given its response,” Bhagwant Mann said, referring to his re-election from Sangrur. The opposition keeps hurling this baseless charge as it doesn’t have anything else to say against him, Mann claimed.