Shiromani Akali Dal leader Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi on Sunday in the presence of Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and other senior leaders of the party.
Atwal is the son of Charanjit Singh Atwal, who was the deputy speaker of the 14th Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2009 and also served as the speaker of the Punjab assembly in the past.
Besides Atwal, his younger brother Jasjeet Singh Atwal and other leaders from Punjab joined the BJP at the party headquarters in the national capital.
"If at all anyone is implementing the ideas of Babasaheb Ambedkar in the real sense, it is the government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I am joining the BJP after being impressed by the work done by its government at the Centre through various schemes," Atwal, a former SAD vice-president, told reporters.
He also hailed Modi for reopening of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikhs and said the prime minister set a "historic milestone" with this step.
Atwal said there is a need to herald "a new era" of development in Punjab, taking along all sections of the society, including Dalits.
"We will work day and night to strengthen the BJP in Punjab under the guidance of the party leadership. We will take along the entire Sikh society as well as people belonging to every religion and community to lead Punjab onto the path of progress," he added.
Welcoming Atwal and the others into the party fold, Union Minister Puri said people have been joining the BJP due to Modi's "new governance model".
"Good governance is also good politics," Puri said, asserting that the country has witnessed progress under Modi's leadership.
He recalled the contributions of Charanjit Singh Atwal to the country's polity and said the BJP will be strengthened with his sons joining it.
BJP's Punjab incharge Vijay Rupani, who was also present on the occasion, said Atwal and his family have significant influence in Punjab and his joining the party will strengthen the organisation in the state.
He said "many people" from Punjab are joining the BJP as the situation in the state is worsening with every passing day.
"Over the past several years, they reposed faith in various parties and finally the Aam Aadmi Party, but the situation in Punjab is worsening day by day. People in Punjab are fed up and frustrated," Rupani claimed.
Hence, the people of Punjab are looking up to the BJP as they believe that only Prime Minister Modi can take care of the state, he added.
"They are gradually realising that Punjab can also progress the way (the rest of) the country is doing with Prime Minister Modi's vision and development politics," Rupani said, asserting, "The BJP will take along everyone and will not let Punjab break or weaken."
BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh, chief spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni, Punjab state unit president Ashwani Sharma and Union Minister Som Prakash, among other party leaders, were also present on the occasion.