Third-generation Congress leader Jitin Prasada joins BJP, hails Modi
Jitin Prasada, top Congress leader and a former Union Minister, today joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - a big setback for the grand old party ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections due next year. He joined the saffron party at its headquarters in New Delhi in the presence of Union Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal. Here are more details on this.
'PM Modi standing for the interests of the nation'
"I have a three-generation connection with Congress, so I took this important decision after a lot of deliberation," Prasada said today. "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 said after joining the party, according to ANI.
'BJP is a truly national party'
Prasada began his political career with IYC in 2001
Prasada, 47, is the son of late politician Jitendra Prasada, former Vice-President of the Congress party. He began his political career with the Indian Youth Congress in early 2000s and went on to win his first parliamentary election in 2004 from Shahjahanpur constituency in UP, also his hometown. He had served as the Minister of State, HRD, from 2012-2014 under former PM Manmohan Singh.
Prasada was part of the Congress' group of 'dissenters'
However, Prasada's dissatisfaction with Congress remained an open secret for the past few years. He was part of the "G-23" - a group of senior Congress leaders who had last year written to party chief Sonia Gandhi, calling for major reforms, including a "full-time, visible leadership." Though the party has promised changes time and again, things have mostly remained the same on the ground.
UP to hold elections next year
Prasada is another top Congress member to leave it for the BJP after Jyotiraditya Scindia did so last year, triggering a major crisis for the party. Now, he is a significant addition to the BJP, especially at a time when its government in UP is facing criticism over the handling of COVID-19. Elections in Uttar Pradesh are due to be held in early 2022.