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HomeIndiaAAP's lone Lok Sabha MP from Jalandhar Sushil Kumar Rinku joins BJP

AAP’s lone Lok Sabha MP from Jalandhar Sushil Kumar Rinku joins BJP

New Delhi, March 27: In a major political setback to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab, the party’s lone MP in the Lok Sabha, Sushil Kumar Rinku (48), joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here on Wednesday.

In the bypoll to the Jalandhar Lok Sabha constituency held in May last year, Rinku trounced Congress’ Karamjit Kaur by a thumping margin of 58,691 votes, as the grand old party faced defeat in the seat for the first time since 1999.

Rinku, a former Congress leader, joined the BJP in the presence of the party’s National General Secretary Vinod Tawde and Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar at the party headquarters here.

AAP MLA from Jalandhar (West), Sheetal Angural, also joined the saffron party along with Rinku.

After joining the BJP, Rinku told the media, “I have taken this decision for the development of Jalandhar. We will take Jalandhar forward. We will bring all the projects of the Central government to Jalandhar.”

Rinku had switched to the AAP from the Congress on April 27, 2023, and a day later he was declared the party candidate for the bypoll to the Jalandhar parliamentary constituency.

His victory marked the re-entry of AAP Punjab to the Lok Sabha. Earlier, Bhagwant Mann was the AAP’s first and lone Lok Sabha MP. He resigned from the Parliament on being elected as an MLA in the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections. His party could not retain the seat vacated by him in the bypoll.

The Jalandhar parliamentary seat is a reserved constituency that falls in the state’s Dalit-dominated Doaba region.

Rinku enjoys a good support base among the Dalit community, which forms 42 per cent of the total electorate in the constituency.

Last week, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann held a closed-door meeting with Rinku to gather feedback about the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

In the 2022 Assembly elections, the Congress had won in five out of the nine segments in the Jalandhar parliamentary seat, while the AAP bagged the remaining seats.

The 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab will go to the polls on June 1.

Commenting on Rinku joining the BJP, state BJP chief Jakhar said, “He (Rinku) took a longer route (to come to the BJP). We Punjabis are known to be pioneers, we experiment.”

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