Senior Congress leader Jitin Prasada joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal at the party headquarters in New Delhi. Prasada's joining will help the BJP in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections as he is a prominent Brahmin face in Central Uttar Pradesh.
This comes as a big jolt for the Congress ahead of the UP polls scheduled for February next year. He was considered as a core team member of both Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's teams. He was a member of the Congress dissent group, the G-23 faction, which had written a letter to the party interim president Sonia Gandhi for "sweeping changes" in the organisation.
Prasada said his family had a three-generation connection with the Congress party and he took the decision after deliberation. He said that the BJP is the only national party in the country while others are regional parties.
"I have a three-generation connection with Congress, so I took this important decision after a lot of deliberation. In the last 8-10 years I have felt that if there is one party that is truly national, it is BJP. Other parties are regional but this is national party. I felt that what is the relevance of staying in a party if you can't protect interests of your people or work for them. I felt I was unable to do that at Congress. I thank people in Congress who blessed me all these yrs but now I'll work as a dedicated BJP worker," Prasada said while praising BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Ahead of his formal joining, Prasada met Goyal at his residence in the national capital.
He had won the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections from Shahjahanpur and Dhaurahra constituencies respectively. He has also served as the Minister of State for Human Resources Development in the Manmohan Singh government.
He is the son of veteran Congress leader Jitendra Prasada.
First Published: IST