New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjeet Singh, who had demanded a probe into the land deals of Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and who had recently quit the party, Thursday formally joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Inderjeet Singh, a former union minister of state for external affairs and defence production, joined the BJP with his followers at the party office in the capital.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, BJP president Rajnath Singh welcomed Rao and his supporters from Haryana into the party, and said it was a honour that Rao, who has a clean image and hails from a martyr's family, is now part of his organisation.
Rajnath Singh said that with Rao joining the BJP, the party will certainly gain in Haryana and will form its first government in the state after the assembly polls this year.
Rao's great-grandfather Rao Tula Ram was a noted freedom fighter during the 1857 revolt, while his father Rao Birender Singh was chief minister of Haryana.
He said he will now be part of the BJP for the rest of his life, but added that it was not an easy decision to quit the Congress after serving the party for 36 years.
Rao, who was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998, 2004 and 2009, started his career in state politics by becoming a legislator for the first time in 1977.
He also merged his newly formed Haryana Insaf Congress party with the BJP.
Addressing the gathering, Rao said he and his father supported late prime minister Indira Gandhi when she needed political help.
He said he defeated Congress leader Col. (retd) Maha Singh in 1977 in the Haryana elections, in which his then Haryana Vishal Party won 28 seats. However, after Indira Gandhi's requests, he merged his party into the Congress in September 1978.
Rao, who Wednesday sent his resignation to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, thanked Congress workers from Rohtak, Jhajjar and Mewat for joining the BJP with him.