NEW DELHI: In a significant move ahead of next year’s Punjab polls, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa on Wednesday joined BJP. A former Delhi MLA and councilor, Sirsa is a popular Jat Sikh leader who becomes an important representative of the community in the saffron party.
Sirsa has been a prominent face of Akali Dal in the national capital and was a strong supporter of the farmers’ protests against the three contentious laws, which were repealed by the Central government earlier this week. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement to repeal the farm laws is viewed as the Central government’s effort to appease the protesting farmers, a large number of whom are Sikhs from Punjab.
Sirsa was one of the most vocal supporters of the farm protests and organised langars (community lunch) for the gathering at the protest sites for days. The BJP tweeted a video of his joining the party in the presence of Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat at the BJP headquarters.
Shekhawat, who is BJP’s Punjab in-charge for the upcoming Assembly polls, said Sirsa’s induction into the party will surely be helpful ahead of the state elections, due early next year.
Sirsa, who was also the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) chief, announced his resignation from the post with “immediate effect” in a tweet. The former Akali Dal leader also thanked BJP national president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. “I have served the country and humanity through Gurdwara Management Committee… My commitment to serve my community, humanity and nation remains the same,” said Sirsa.