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Updated March 19th, 2024 at 23:46 IST

Ex-Indian Ambassador To US Taranjit Singh Sandhu Joins BJP, May Contest LS Polls From Amritsar

Former Indian ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu joined the BJP on Tuesday, amid a possibility that he may be fielded in the Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar in Punjab.

Ex-Indian ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu joins BJP, may contest LS polls from Amritsar
Ex-Indian ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu joins BJP, may contest LS polls from Amritsar | Image:X
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New Delhi: Former Indian ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu joined the BJP on Tuesday, amid a possibility that he may be fielded in the Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar in Punjab.

He joined the party in the presence of its general secretaries Tarun Chugh and Vinod Tawde, who highlighted Sandhu's distinguished family lineage. His father Bishan Singh Samundri was a well-known educationist and founding vice-chancellor of the Guru Nanak Dev University.

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Joining the BJP, Sandhu spoke about the growth of the India-US relationship and said development has been its focus area in a host of fields such as the semiconductor industry.

The ties between the two countries have evolved into a partnership that is a win-win situation for both of them, he told reporters Sandhu lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a development-focused leader and said development is very much needed today. This development should reach Amritsar too, he added.

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He said that it is for the BJP leadership to decide on his candidature for the Lok Sabha elections.

The former IFS officer thanked Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J P Nadda for his political innings.

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Sandhu also met Nadda after his joining.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar posted on X to welcome Sandhu to the BJP, and also shared a photograph with him.

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"Welcome to @BJP4India, Ambassador @SandhuTaranjitS. Our close association gives me fullest confidence that you will continue contributing to the nation's development and progress," Jaishankar posted on X in the evening.

Earlier in the day, Tawde said the presence of someone like Sandhu with a successful diplomatic background in the BJP will strengthen the party.

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The BJP has been making concerted efforts to broaden its support among Sikhs, who are in a majority in Punjab, and is hopeful of making a strong impact in the state in the Lok Sabha polls.

The ruling party is especially keen in winning back Amritsar, a seat it has not won since Navjot Singh Sidhu bagged it last in 2009. Sidhu is now in the Congress and the seat is currently represented by its member Gurjeet Singh Aujla.

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BJP's Arun Jaitley and Hardeep Singh Puri, currently a Union minister, lost in the polls from there in 2014 and 2019 respectively.

The party believes Sandhu, who is from the city and comes from a respected Jat Sikh family, may turn out to be its best bet to win back the seat, and he has been on tour across the constituency for months to make connection with different segments of voters. 

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Published March 19th, 2024 at 23:46 IST

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