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Manmohan Singh`s stepbrother joins BJP; PM`s family `shocked`, Congress embarrassed

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Last Updated: Saturday, April 26, 2014 - 01:46

Zee Media Bureau/ Ritesh K Srivastava

Amritsar: Just a day after PM Manmohan Singh rejected all talk of a `Modi wave`, saying it is just a creation of media, his stepbrother Daljeet Singh Kohli joined the BJP in the presence of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Friday.

Kohli, an Amritsar-based businessman, joined the BJP when Narendra Modi came here to address a rally in favour of senior party leader Arun Jaitley, who is contesting from the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.

At the rally, Kohli shared the dais with Modi and other senior BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal leaders.

"Today, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s brother Daljeet Singh has joined the BJP. This will further strengthen us. We are not a membership party. We form blood relations," Modi said while welcoming Kohli into the BJP fold.

Kohli was also welcomed into the BJP by Jaitley and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The BJP and the Akali Dal are ruling partners in Punjab, as well as the constituents of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

Kohli had remained apolitical even after his elder brother Manmohan Singh became prime minister in 2004 and got a second term in 2009.

According to the PMO sources, Dr Manmohan Singh`s family was "shocked" at the turn of events involving Kohli. "His intentions are not known but he is free to pursue his political career," they said, adding the prime minister and Kohli have not been keeping in touch since long.

Prime Minister Singh is the only son and has six sisters while Kohli is his step-brother, the sources said. The prime minister`s mother died at an early age.

Talking to reporters after casting his vote in Guwahati on Thursday, PM Singh had said, "I don`t think there is any Modi wave. It is the creation of the media. The country has not been swept by any Modi wave."

Manmohan Singh had studied in Amritsar after his father`s family migrated here from western Punjab in Pakistan following the partition in August 1947.

Later Surjit Singh Kohli, the elder brother of Daljeet Singh, said he was "shocked" at the development. "I am shocked", he told reporters.

Surjit Singh, also a local businessman, has been supporting Congress.

Former Amritsar Mayor O P Soni said Surjeet Singh was, along with them, on the dais yesterday at a traders meeting with Congress candidate Amarinder Singh in Amritsar.

While the development has given a major boot to the BJP in the election season, it has come as a setback for the ruling Congress.

First Published: Friday, April 25, 2014 - 22:39

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