Chandigarh: Former veteran Akali leader Charanjit Singh Atwal, who had quit Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) last month, on Friday joined BJP in presence of party national president J P Nadda in Delhi.
He had been associated with SAD for over six decades.
Pertinently, his son Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, a former SAD MLA, had also quit SAD and joined the saffron party in April this year and is BJP candidate in the upcoming May 10 Jalandhar (reserved) Lok Sabha seat by-election.
The said bypoll was necessitated after the demise of Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary due to cardiac arrest during Rahul Gandhi-led Punjab leg of Bharat Jodo Yatra on January 14, this year.
A two-time MP and three-time MLA Charanjit Atwal, a tall Dalit leader, had been deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha between 2004 and 2009 and Speaker of Punjab assembly, twice, from 1997 to 2002 and from 2012 and 2017. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, he had lost to Congress’ candidate Santokh Singh Chaudhry by a margin of about 19,000.
A day after his son Inder Iqbal Atwal, a former Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) legislator, filed papers as BJPcandidate for May 10 Jalandhar Lok Sabha (reserved) seat by-election, Charanjit Singh Atwal had also quit SAD on ``moral grounds’’ on April 19.
Besides Inder Iqbal Singh, his other son Jasjeet Singh and nephew Sukhjinderjit Singh had also joinedBJP.
The former SAD MLA, Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, had won Koom Kalan seat in 2002, though had lost two polls in 2007 and 2017. He had joined BJP on April 9 this year and was named as its candidate by BJP for the said bypoll.