Monday, April 22, 2024

Former diplomat Taranjit Sandhu joins BJP, Jaishankar sends ‘confidence’ message

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Former Indian ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu on Tuesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), almost two months after he wrapped up his term in office in Washington DC. He joined the ruling party in the presence of its general secretaries Tarun Chugh and Vinod Tawde in the national capital.

According to reports, the BJP is likely to field the former envoy in the Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar in Punjab – the city where Sandhu hails from. The party reportedly believes that Sandhu, who comes from a Jat Sikh family, may turn out to be its best bet to win back the Amritsar seat.

Addressing the media after joining the saffron party, Sandhu thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and party president J P Nadda for his political innings, and called Modi a “development-focused leader”.

“Development is very much needed today. This development should reach Amritsar too,” he added amid speculations about his candidature in the Lok Sabha elections.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar welcomed Sandhu to the BJP and expressed confidence in his contribution to the country’s development.

“Welcome to @BJP4India, Ambassador @SandhuTaranjitS. Our close association gives me fullest confidence that you will continue contributing to the nation’s development and progress,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. The minister also shared a picture with the former ambassador on the social media platform.

Sandhu assumed the charge as the Indian Ambassador to the United States in February 2020. His most immediate task after his appointment was the then-President Donald Trump’s visit to India.

Previously, he has served as the First Secretary (Political) at the Embassy of India, Washington DC from 1997 to 2000. He was also the Consul General of India in Frankfurt from September 2011 to July 2013, and the deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of India in Washington DC from July 2013 to January 2017.

Along with this, Sandhu has also worked in the Ministry of External Affairs in various departments – Joint Secretary (United Nations) from March 2009 to August 2011, and later as Joint Secretary (Administration) heading the Human Resource Division.

Born on January 23, 1963, Sandhu studied at The Lawrence School, Sanawar, and graduated with History Honours from St. Stephens’ College in Delhi. He has a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.Former diplomat Taranjit Sandhu joins BJP, Jaishankar sends ‘confidence’ message

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