Political activities in the state have begun to gain momentum ahead of the assembly elections expected to be held in October—on Saturday, Gopichand Gehlot, the former Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). His entry was welcomed by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who was in the city for the launch of Jal Shakti Abhiyan, a water conservation and harvesting programme The 62-year-old accepted the party’s membership from Gurugram BJP president Bhupinder Chauhan. Gehlot, who has held the post of deputy speaker in Haryana Assembly, quit the INLD last week along with other party workers. On June 24, two other INLD Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) —Zakir Hussain and Parminder Dhull from Mewat—joined the BJP. Welcoming Gehlot, Khattar said “We have won 10 Lok Sabha constituencies and will also get at least 75 seats in the assembly elections. With Gehlot’s presence, the party will be strengthened.” He said Gehlot was associated with the party before the 1980s, when the BJP was called the Jan Sangh. According to party workers, Gehlot has strong support in Gurugram and Faridabad. In 2,000 he was elected from the Gurugram legislative assembly constituency as an independent candidate.