Chandigarh: In a jolt to the ruling Congress in Haryana ahead of the Assembly polls, its several senior leaders, including two former ministers, switched to BJP on Thursday in presence of Amit Shah.
While senior Congress leader Birender Singh is likely to join the BJP at Jind on Saturday, the state`s ruling outfit, which is facing a series of desertions, faced another jolt as former Haryana ministers Chattar Pal and Harsh Kumar and ex-MLA Raj Kumar Balmiki joined the saffron party at its Vijay Sankalp rally at Mahendergarh today.
Some prominent leaders of INLD also switched loyalty and joined BJP. Balbir Singh Saini, former minister and MLA and former MLAs Phool Singh Kheri, Banta Ram Balmiki and Krishan Kumar.
They were welcomed into the party fold on the occasion, in which a number of BJP leaders from the state including state unit chief Ram Bilash Sharma, senior leader and MLA Anil Vij, a number of party MPs, party`s state affairs in-charge Jagdish Mukhi, besides Union Ministers K P Gujjar, V K Singh and Rao Inderjit Singh, were among others present.
Speaking at the rally, Rao Inderjit Singh, who himself had joined the BJP recently after snapping his four-decade old association with the Congress, exuded confidence that BJP will form the government in Haryana.
"The BJP will form the government in Haryana," the Gurgaon MP said, asking the people to oust the "corrupt and non-performing Congress".
However, commenting on the desertions which have hit the Congress in recent times, party`s senior leader and former state unit Chief, Phool Chand Mullana said those who are leaving the party are "opportunists".
"If these leaders think that so called Modi wave is still blowing and they will gain something in BJP, then they are mistaken," he said.
Mullana further said, "people have realised that dreams were sold to them, but they will not fall in the BJP`s trap again and will bring back Congress to power in Haryana once again on the basis of good governance and development works we have undertaken".
Taking a dig at some of his party leaders switching sides, INLD MP Dushyant Chautala also said that those who were leaving were "opportunists" and added it will not affect his party`s prospects in the upcoming polls.
Also taking a dig at the BJP, he said the party was running here and there as it was unable to find candidates within the party who will contest the October polls.