Chandigarh, April 25: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s brother Daljeet Singh Kohli today joined the BJP in the presence of Narendra Modi and was felicitated during Modi’s rally in Amritsar late in the evening.
Daljeet, a businessman in Amritsar, is Manmohan’s half-brother. During the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, he had campaigned vigorously for the Congress along with Manmohan’s younger brother Surjeet.
“Daljeet joined the BJP because he believes his brother was treated unfairly by the Congress high command,” one of his associates said.
“He was anyway never an active member of the Congress unlike Surjeet, who wanted to contest the 2007 Assembly elections in Punjab from the Amritsar (South) seat.”
Then Congress chief minister Amarinder Singh was all for it but Manmohan’s directive to family members to stay away from politics poured cold water on Surjeet’s ambitions. Even a representation to bhabi Gursharan Kaur yielded no results.
While the Congress is dismayed at Daljeet’s latest move, a party leader said the development portrayed the desperation of BJP candidate Arun Jaitley, who is up against Amarinder in Amritsar.
“Nobody knows Daljeet in the city. And the way Modi felicitated him during his rally by stating that his dreams for Amritsar city would be taken care of by the Akalis and the BJP only reflects their frustration,” he said.
No member from Manmohan’s family in Amritsar was available for comment.
In 2009, both Daljeet and Surjeet used to urge people in street-corner meetings to vote for the Congress if they wanted to see Manmohan as Prime Minister for yet another term.