Amarinder Singh joins the long list of former chief ministers of other parties who have joined the BJP in the last few years like Digamber Kamat and S M Krishna. Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Kiren Rijiju. He had earlier in the day met BJP national president J P Nadda. Singh was the chief minister of Punjab twice from 2002 to 2007 and then again from March 2017 to September 2021 before he was ousted unceremoniously by the Congress. He later quit the Congress and formed his own Punjab Lok Congress (PLC), which he merged with the BJP on Monday. His party, however, had failed to make a mark in the last assembly election in Punjab and could not win a single seat.
Other chief ministers to have joined the BJP are SM Krishna, who was the chief minister of Karnataka from October 1999 to May 2004 when he was in the Congress party. Krishna, also a former Governor and External Affairs Minister, joined the BJP in March 2017.
Digambar Kamat, who was the Congress chief minister in Goa from 2007 to 2012, joined the saffron party recently. Former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane quit the Shiv Sena to join the BJP. Rane, the strongman in Konkan politics, joined the BJP ahead of the 2019 state polls. He was the 13th chief minister of Maharashtra from February 1, 1999 to October 17, 1999 after Manohar Joshi quit from the post.
Vijay Bahuguna, who served as the 6th chief minister of Uttarakhand, from March 2012 to January 2014, also quit the Congress to join the BJP after he resigned following the ‘mishandling’ of the 2013 Uttarakhand floods.
N Kiran Reddy was a Congress leader who served as 16th chief minister of Andhra Pradesh between November 2010 and March 2014. He was the last chief minister of the united Andhra Pradesh before the formation of the Telangana state in June 2014. He later joined the BJP.
Narayan Dutt Tiwari, an old-time Congress leader, was a three-time chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1976 to 1977, 1984 to 1985 and from 1988 to 1989, and later chief minister of Uttarakhand from 2002 to 2007. He quit the Congress towards the end and joind the BJP ahead of the 2017 assembly elections in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu had also quit the Congress and joined the BJP. In September 2016, along with 43 Congress MLAs, he defected to the People’s Party of Arunachal, an ally of BJP, and became the chief minister of the state.
N Biren Singh quit the Congress in October 2016 and joined the BJP after revolting against then Congress chief minister O Ibobi Singh. In 2017, he became the chief minister of Manipur, the BJP’s first chief minister in the state. Babulal Marandi was another former chief minister who merged his Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) with the BJP in February 2020. He is the first chief minister of Jharkhand (from November 2000 to March 2003 when he was in the BJP). He later quit the saffron party in September 2006 and formed his own outfit. Besides the former chief ministers, several other top leaders of the Congress and other parties have joined the BJP in the last few years. These include former Union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia, R P N Singh and Jitin Prasada. Former Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, a minister in the Congress government in Assam, had also joined the BJP after quitting the Congress.
Besides, leaders like Suvendu Adhikari from the TMC, Kuldeep Bishnoi, Bhubaneswar Kalita, Khushboo Sunder, Satpal Maharaj, Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Jagdambika Pal (all from the Congress), and Gaurav Bhatia (from the SP) had also joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.