PM's second brother backs Congress, Amarinder

Last Updated 26 April 2014, 13:36 IST

Just a day after the BJP embarrassed the Congress and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by inducting his step-brother, another step-brother Saturday joined the Congress road show here taken out by former chief minister Amarinder Singh.

Surjit Singh Kohli, an entrepreneur, joined the Congress road show with Amarinder, the party's  candidate for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat against senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley.

Daljit Singh Kohli, a younger step brother of the prime minister had joined the BJP and shared the dais with BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi during an election rally here Friday evening. Modi warmly welcomed him saying that his joining was not about BJP membership but  building blood relations.

Daljit's entry into the BJP fold was played up by the BJP leadership here, especially by Jaitley who is  facing a tough fight against Amarinder. Daljit, a textile exporter, had no  political background earlier.

Daljit had later told media that he joined the BJP as he was upset about the way that Manmohan Singh was treated by the Congress.

Manmohan Singh said Saturday he felt "very sad" at Daljit joining the BJP. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Padma awards function in New Delhi, the prime minister said to a query: "I feel very sad. But I have no control over what others do. They are adults."

The prime minister's family members had Friday expressed shock at Daljit's "extremely wrong" and "shameful" decision to join the BJP.

His nephew  Mandeep Singh told reporters in Amritsar Friday, "The whole family is shocked to  learn of Daljitji's decision. We have been associated with the Congress from the very beginning and will remain faithful to them always. What he has done is extremely wrong. This is shameful and should not have been done."

Naqvi said people from all walks of life had moved towards the BJP as they were fed with the Congress on several fronts. "Many more are joining BJP and supporting Modi," he claimed.

Lok Sabha elections to 13 seats in Punjab are due in one phase on April 30. Welcoming Kohli into the BJP fold, Modi had said he will further strengthen the party.

"Today, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's brother Daljeet Singh has joined BJP. This will further strengthen us. We are not a party which talks of membership but one which forms relations," Modi had said.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Jaitley, BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Amritsar, had also welcomed Kohli at the rally.

Kohli said the Congress party has not given the prime minister "full authority" to run the government. Kohli also said that he will accept whatever responsibility BJP gives him.

(Published 26 April 2014, 13:35 IST)

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