In a major set back to Congress in Jammu and Kashmir, two-time Congress MP and former minister Lal Singh today joined BJP. He was inducted in BJP in the presence of the saffron party chief Amit Shah here.
"I have joined BJP in front of Amit Shah to serve the people and the party," Singh told a gathering here.
"We welcome him in the party. It is a big day for party in Jammu and Kashmir that Singh and thousands of workers have joined BJP," MP and state unit Chief Jugal Kishore Sharma said.
Apart from Singh, his wife and former MLA from Basohli, Kanta Andotra, former director general of Punjab police, P S Gill were among the two dozen former bureaucrats, Army officials and Engineers, who were inducted into the party by BJP national president Amit Shah at the function.
Welcoming Singh and other workers into the party fold, Shah said "Singh is now with the BJP and after a long long time he is in the right place... BJP accepts him by heart."
Lal had left Congress in July by attacking leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad for denial of mandate of Udhampur Lok Sabha seat from where Azad contested in 2014 Lok Sabha polls and lost to the BJP's Jitendera Singh.
Singh - who hails from Kathua district - had won the 2003 and 2008 Lok Sabha elections as Congress candidate from Udhampur. He was elected to Jammu and Kashmir Assembly as MLA in 1996 and 2002 polls. He became minister for health and medical education in the Mufti Mohmmad Syeed-led coalition government in 2003.