Pathankot: AAP leader Joginder Chinna, who had contested the Punjab assembly polls from Dinanagar seat, on Sunday joined the BJP, and accused the AAP's Punjab unit chief Bhagwant Mann of converting the party into a "private company".
Jolting the AAP days ahead of the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bye-election, Chinna, along with his supporters, took the BJP's membership in the presence of the party's national vice-president Prabhat Jha and state secretary Punjab Vineet Joshi.
He accused the Aam Aadmi Party of straying from its ideals. Mann, he alleged, "is transforming the party into a private company".
"In order to defeat the Congress in Gurdaspur bypoll, I and my colleagues have decided to join the BJP and ensure Swaran Salaria's (BJP candidate) victory from the seat," Chinna said.
The other AAP members who joined the BJP today include Dinanagar market committee's former chairman Tarsem Singh Malkachak, AAP's block president Pratap Singh Jethuwal, the party's district general secretary Balwinder Singh Dalia, district organizing secretary Shivjinder Singh Dala, district secretary Kala Singh Sahewal, said a BJP party release.
Welcoming Chinna and other AAP leaders, Jha said they will be given due respect in the party.
"The move indicates Swaran Salaria's victory is inevitable in Gurdaspur," he said.
Yesterday, AAP leader Kulbhushan Singh, who had contested the last assembly elections from Sujanpur seat, and the party's general secretary, Lakhvir Singh, had joined the Congress, along with their supporters, in the presence of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh in Pathankot.
Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll, which was necessitated after the death of BJP MP Vinod Khanna in April this year, will be held on October 11.