Six days after being expelled from the primary membership of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), a prominent political figure of Jammu and two-time MLA from Udhampur, Balwant Singh Mankotia on Thursday joined BJP in New Delhi.
Mankotia joined BJP in the presence of the BJP national general and in charge of J&K affairs of the party, Tarun Chugh, union ministers Dr Jitendra Singh and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and J&K president of BJP Ravinder Raina.
Welcoming Mankotia to the party, Tarun Chugh hoped that with his joining BJP would be emerged stronger in Jammu and Kashmir in general and Jammu province in particular.
Dr. Jitendra Singh reminded that Mankotia had scripted a new chapter in the political history of Jammu and Kashmir by taking oath in Dogri as MLA in 2002.
AAP opposed my decision to join the celebrations of Maharaja Hari Singh's birthday
After joining BJP, Mankotia said that he was feeling suffocated in the AAP because the party leadership was not allowing him to pursue the nationalist agenda. "AAP leadership opposed my decision to join celebrations of Maharaja Hari Singh's birthday. When we were celebrating the birthday of Maharaja Hari Singh on September 23, AAP leadership expelled me from the party", he said.
Mankotia, however, said that he was already inactive in the AAP due to the policies and programme of the party and had made up his mind to join BJP to pursue the nationalist agenda.
Expelled from AAP on Friday
The AAP on Friday expelled Balwant Singh Mankotia from the primary membership of the party. Mankotia was expelled on the charges of hobnobbing with other political parties and defaming the party.
In the letter, Mankotia has been charged with "engaging with other national and regional parties of J&K" and "not engaging or participating in any of the AAP political activities and not performing any task given by the party in the last three months."
He has also been accused of "influencing AAP volunteers to join other parties and offering them positions in other parties".