"I feel it is the right time to return to the party, which my father served throughout his life," Thakur, who is the son of late BJP stalwart Jagdev Chand, said at a function in Hamirpur.

Thakur, who contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections on Congress ticket from Hamirpur, lost to BJP's Anurag Thakur.

Former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal was present at the function, said party spokesman Ganesh Dutt.

Narinder Thakur's return to the BJP is seen as a major embarrassment for the Congress as Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had announced that he would be in-charge of the party's campaign in Hamirpur.

The Congress has pitted Rajinder Rana, another BJP rebel, against BJP's two-time MP Anurag Thakur.

The Aam Aadmi Party has fielded Kamal Kanta Batra, mother of the 1999 Kargil war hero Captain Vikram Batra, from Hamirpur, a constituency home to a large number of military personnel and ex-servicemen.

The Congress has won the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat only once in the past 25 years.

(Agencies)

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