New Delhi :
Former Congress MLA Bhisham Sharma who was expelled from the party last week, joined the BJP on Tuesday in a boost to the saffron party's Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari who is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from North East Delhi seat.
Sharma, who was a Congress MLA for two terms from Ghonda Assembly segment under North East Delhi parliamentary constituency between 1998 and 2008, had a long-running difference with the party's Delhi unit chief Sheila Dikshit.
He was expelled from the Congress for six years on charges of anti-party activities.
Sharma was welcomed into the BJP fold by party vice president and its Delhi unit in-charge Shyam Jaju and Manoj Tiwari.
Jaju termed Sharma an "asset" for the BJP who will boost winning chances of the party candidates in the Lok Sabha elections.
Tiwari said, "How can a patriot like Sharma be with Congress whose president uses Gandhi surname but talks about Jinna."
Joining the BJP, Sharma said that he was "pained over Congress leaders questioning surgical strikes and the Balakot air strike... and was feeling suffocated there."
He said that after four decades of association with the Congress he was severing his ties with the party and joining the BJP as he was "inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi".
Sharma also asserted that thousands of his supporters will quit the Congress and join the BJP in the coming days.
A senior Delhi Congress leader said Sharma was issued warning but he did not pay heed to it leading to his expulsion.
He was recently seen in a photo along with Manoj Tiwari, whose Congress rival in the North East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency is Sheila Dikshit.