Ex-deputy speaker of Lok Sabha Charanjit Atwal joins BJP

New Delhi: Former Lok Sabha deputy speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal joined the BJP here in the presence of its president J P Nadda on Friday, in a boost to the party ahead of the Jalandhar Lok Sabha bypoll on May 10.

Atwal (86), who recently resigned from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), was the deputy speaker of Lok Sabha from 2004-2009.

His son Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal is the BJP candidate from Jalandhar. Iqbal Singh Atwal was also with the Akali Dal before he joined the BJP last month.

The Atwals belong to the Scheduled Caste community, which has a large presence in Punjab.

The BJP is making all-out efforts to put up a strong show in the Lok Sabha seat and has deployed a number of Union ministers and other senior leaders for the campaign.

The party has also been making strong efforts to woo Sikhs and has inducted many leaders from the community.