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Husband Amarinder Singh in BJP, wife Preneet Kaur in Congress

New Delhi: Former Congress leader Amarinder Singh today joined his former party’s principal rival, the BJP. Preneet Kaur, Mr Singh’s wife, is still a Congress member. The veteran leader saw no anomaly with the couple now in rival parties.

“It’s not necessary that wife will follow whatever her husband does,” 80-year-old Mr Singh shot back when asked if his wife is not joining the BJP.

Preneet Kaur served as Junior Foreign Affairs Minister in the Manmohan Singh Government from 2009-2014.

Amarinder Singh, a former Congress Punjab Chief Minister, also merged his Punjab Lok Congress with the BJP. He had formed the party last year, soon after exiting the Congress, his party of five decades.

“It is now time to join a party that is looking after the interests of the country,” said Mr Singh, right after he was welcomed into the party by Union Ministers Kiren Rijiju and Narendra Singh Tomar at the Delhi BJP headquarters.

In Amarinder Singh, the BJP now has a prominent Sikh face in Punjab who has been active in state politics for several decades.

“BJP will be strong in Punjab because of the image of Captain Amarinder Singh as a nationalist secular Sikh leader. Hindu people also like him so how does strong support turn into a vote only time will tell but its effect will be in Punjab and it will strengthen the BJP,” Ashwani Kumar, former Union Minister who quit the Congress in February, was quoted saying by news agency ANI.