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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

4-time BJP MLA to join Congress, courtesy SAD

Prabhjit Singh , Hindustan Times   Chandigarh , November 12, 2013
First Published: 22:25 IST(12/11/2013) | Last Updated: 22:41 IST(12/11/2013)

The 4-time sitting BJP MLA Harsharan Singh Balli will be joining the Congress Wednesday, announcing his deserting the BJP a fallout of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)’s adamence to filed its own candidate in the ensuing Delhi assembly polls.

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The erstwhile staunch BJP leader has been the only Sikh MLA from the party in the incumbent Vidhan Sabha that had 5 Sikhs as Congress MLAs, with two as ministers in the Shiela Dikshit government.

Balli has always been an all time hope of the BJP top garner Sikh votes in west Delhi.

“The party (BJP) is weakened as it succumbed to the SAD pressure (for the Hari Nagar seat),” Balli told HT on phone from Delhi, confirming his joining the Congress at the premises of chief minsiter Shiela Dikshit Wednesday morning.

The old-time BJP die-hard Sikh leader has also been the councilor from that party twice before entering the assembly for the first time in 1993.

He had won the last assembly elections with a huge margin of 29,000 votes.

DIFFERENCES IN PAST

Balli had distanced himself from the SAD during the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections held in January this year.

Balli had rather fielded Jatinder Singh Kohli, as a successful candidate of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) of Paramjit Singh Sarna.

“I never had a liking for the Badals and, that was the reason that I did not succumb to the BJP leadership’s dictates of helping SAD in the Gurdwara elections,” Balli told HT.

To his opinion, BJP should have refused Hari Nagar seat to the SAD, knowing his position as a 4-time MLA.

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