Ex-Army chief joins Akali Dal in Punjab, to contest against Amarinder

Chandigarh: Former Army chief General J.J. Singh on Saturday formally joined Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal. He will contest against Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh from Patiala-Urban seat in the February 4 assembly elections.

The former General was welcomed into the SAD by its President and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal here.

The first Sikh Indian Army chief, General Singh remained on the post from January 2005 to September 2007.

Gen. Singh, 71, was appointed Governor of Arunachal Pradesh (2008-2013) by the then Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.

The former Army chief on Saturday claimed he will win the electoral battle. 

Former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is an ex-Army Captain and a member of the erstwhile royal family of Patiala.

Amarinder Singh on Friday said he was ready for the contest against J.J. Singh. "This will be a contest in which a Captain will defeat a General," Amarinder said.

The Shiromani Akali Dal, along with alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party, is in power in Punjab since 2007.

Elections to the 117-member assembly will be held on February 4.