Why Former Union minister Birender Singh quits BJP?

Birender Singh,

Former Union minister Birender Singh on Monday said he has quit the BJP and will join the Congress, the move coming almost a month after his son Brijendra Singh joined the grand old party.

His wife Prem Lata Singh — a former BJP MLA from Haryana — also quit the party.

“I have resigned from the primary membership of the BJP and sent my resignation to party chief JP Nadda. My wife, Prem Lata, who was an MLA from 2014-2019, has also quit the party. Tomorrow (Tuesday), we will join the Congress,” Birender Singh (78), a prominent political figure in Haryana, told reporters in Delhi.

After quitting the BJP, Birender Singh also met Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Delhi.

Birender Singh joined the BJP nearly 10 years ago after an over four-decade stint with the Congress.

After his son joined the Congress on March 10, there was speculation that Birender Singh would follow suit.

Birender Singh was Union steel minister in the first government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also held charge as minister of rural development, Panchayati Raj, and drinking water and sanitation.

During the agitation against the now-repealed farm laws, Birender Singh had extended his support to the farmers.

Birender Singh — who also served as a minister in the Congress government led by Hooda in Haryana — is the grandson of Sir Chhotu Ram, considered as a “messiah of farmers”.

Asked why he quit the BJP, Birender Singh said he had been with the Congress for 42 years but left to join the saffron party in 2014 due to “certain reasons”.

“When I joined BJP, I knew the ideology of this party would be different and there would be some differences between the ideologies of the two parties. Later on, I experienced that there was a wider gap,” he said.

“During my political career, I connected with people who remained dedicated supporters,” said Singh, indicating that this was not recognised by the BJP in the manner it should have been.

On the farmers’ agitation, Birender Singh said he had raised the issue on party platforms and urged that their grievances be resolved.

“I felt that while I was giving suggestions, those were not being heeded,” he said.

Responding to another question, he said, “I have said that I may not be in electoral politics but I will continue to be politically active as long as I can.”

Birender Singh said he also felt the BJP should have heeded his suggestion to snap ties with the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) several months ago and added that the decision should not have been delayed.

“I had said that if the BJP continued to have an alliance with the JJP, then Birender Singh would not be part of the BJP,” he added.

Birender Singh’s wife Prem Lata Singh told PTI that her husband has had a clean image and received a lot of love and respect.

When Birender Singh joined the BJP, it was with the idea that he would remain in the party for the rest of his life, she said.

However, some developments such as the farmers’ agitation took place during which Birender Singh stood in favour of the farmers, she said.

In his mind, he believes the farmers’ issues have not been fully resolved even today, she added.

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