2 Akali dal MLAs join Congress; Sidhu could be next, hints Amarinder

Chandigarh, Dec 7, 2016: In a major setback to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), two of its MLAs Mahesh Inder Singh and Rajwinder Kaur Bhagike on Tuesday joined the Congress in the presence of PCC chief Amarinder Singh.

While Mahesh Inder Singh represents the Baghapurana Assembly seat, Rajwinder Kaur is the sitting MLA from Nihal Singh Wala constituency.

Welcoming them into the party fold, Amarinder said this will help strengthen the Congress party ahead of the upcoming polls. He reiterated that the exodus of leaders and workers from SAD and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would further increase as the elections drew closer, especially after the imposition of the Code of Conduct in Punjab.

“As per the tradition, there is no commitment in their joining the Congress. They have joined unconditionally. I welcome them into the Congress fold and I hope their joining will strengthen the party further,” he said.

The party is expected to announce its candidates on December 9 or 10, as its Central Election Committee headed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi is likely to meet on December 8, where the final list will be drawn up.

Top Congress leaders on Tuesday held internal consultations over the selection of party candidates at the meeting of Central Screening Committee headed by former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

However, Cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu is also likely to join the party and assume a new role later this month after the party declares its candidates, the sources said.

 Wefornews Bureau

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