If there is any political party standing for the interest of the nation today, it is Bharatiya Janata Party, said former Union minister Jitin Prasada after crossing over to the ruling front on Wednesday.
“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 a national party,” said Prasada.
“If there is any political party or a leader standing for the interests of the nation today, given the situation that our country is going through, it is BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he added.
The 47-year-old is the second aide of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to join the BJP since Jyotiraditya Scindia’s defection last year. The development also comes ahead of the much-anticipated Uttar Pradesh assembly elections scheduled for 2022.
Prasada was among the signatory dissenter in the Congress party, known as the G-23 or group of 23 Congress leaders who had written to party chief Sonia Gandhi last year seeking an active and full-time party president.
“I felt that what is the relevance of staying in a party if you cannot 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 years but now I will work as a dedicated BJP worker,” he said on Wednesday.
Speculation was rife even during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections of Prasada joining the BJP, but it is believed that the Congress leadership had then managed to persuade him against quitting the party.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Congress leader held a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his residence. Union Minister Piyush Goel was also present at the meeting.
Jitin Prasad started his career with Indian Youth Congress as a general secretary. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004 for the first time. He was also a minister in the UPA government at the Centre.
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