In a major blow to the Congress ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election scheduled next year, former Union minister Jitin Prasada on Wednesday joined the BJP. He met Union ministers Amit Shah and Piyush Goyal before officially joining the saffron party in Delhi. He also met party president JP Nadda at his residence.
This is the second high-profile defection of close aides of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after Jyotiraditya Scindia left the party in 2020 resulting in the fall of the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh. Like Prasada, Scindia too had joined the BJP.
What Jitin Prasada said
Upon joining the saffron party, Prasada said, “BJP is the only real political party. It’s the only national party. The rest of the parties are regional. BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi only ones that can meet the challenges the country is facing now.”
“I started feeling that I was in a party only surrounded by politics. I started feeling that I was not being able to contribute and do my work for the people. I wasn’t being able to work for the benefit of the people,” he said.
Jitin Prasada’s rebellion in Congress
Notably, Prasada was frustrated with the functioning of the Congress. He was part of the 23 leaders that wrote to Congress’ interim president Sonia Gandhi last year seeking sweeping reforms and an overhaul of the party’s functioning. However, nothing changed in Congress.
Despite his dissent, he was made the party’s in-charge of overseeing the Congress’ poll campaign in Bengal, where the party scored a big zero. In fact, Prasada himself criticised the Congress’ alliance with the Indian Secular Front—a party led by a cleric.
Congress UP unit sought action against Jitin Prasada
Prasada’s dissent did not end up well with the Congress’ Uttar Pradesh unit demanding action against him and the other leaders for the letter bomb. Notably, Jitin Prasada’s family had a strained relationship with Gandhis. His father and a veteran Congress leader Jitendra Prasad was unhappy with Sonia Gandhi’s leadership of the party in 1999 and also fought an election against her for the party president post, albeit unsuccessfully.
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