The Congress on Monday received a jolt when senior party leader and former MP Balbir Singh resigned from the primary membership of the party and joined the main opposition Shiromani Akali Dal.
Singh, who was denied re-nomination from the Jalandhar parliamentary constituency where he had defeated the SAD candidate by 34566 votes in the last Lok Sabha polls, joined SAD in the presence of its chief and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and others.
Talking to reporters, he alleged the "mafia" had played a "significant" role in the distribution of Congress Lok Sabha tickets and honest and genuine leaders were ignored by the party high command to keep a "specific" group happy.
Terming the state government's anti-corruption drive as "hollow", Singh alleged Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was neck-deep in corruption which was evident from the appointment of DSPs in the state and in eviction of liquor vends.
Hailing the SAD as the most secular party in the country, Singh said "whatever responsibility the party leadership will assign to me, I will fulfil the aspiration with honesty and dedication."
Welcoming Singh into the party fold, Parkash Singh Badal said the party would emerge stronger in Doaba region of the state now.
Daljit Singh Sahota, Chairman of the overseas Congress, also resigned from the Congress and joined SAD.