Rahul Gandhi loyalist Jitin Prasada joins BJP ahead of 2022 UP polls

Rahul Gandhi loyalist Jitin Prasada joins BJP ahead of 2022 UP polls

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9

In a major setback to the Congress, its prominent face from poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Jitin Prasada, on Wednesday joined the BJP.  

Welcoming him into the party in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal, BJP media in charge Anil Baluni said Prasada was joining the party as he was “impressed” with the working style of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The speculations that Prasada is joining the BJP started after Baluni tweeted about an “eminent personality” joining the party. Before the formal announcement, the known Gandhi loyalist met Home Minister Amit Shah.

The development comes as another blow to the Congress, which appears to be failing consistently in stopping its promising young leaders from leaving the party. 

Prasada follows Jyotiraditya Scindia and sources claim more prominent leaders from other parties will be joining the BJP in the run-up to the Assembly elections. 

While it remains to be seen what Prasada brings to the table politically, observers say it is more about perceptions. Prasada belongs to the upper-caste Brahmin community, a section that is upset with Yogi Adityanath over various issues.

For Prasada, who first stuck his neck out in what is known as ‘G-23’ episode, it is a win-win situation. 

Upset with the party leadership, Prasada has been trying to resurrect his career. Already there are speculations of a settlement for him in the Adityanath government.

Apart from allegations of “mismanagement” during the second wave of Covid-19, the Adityanath government has been facing allegations of favouring the Thakur community at the cost of Brahmins. Prasada’s inclusion is expected to assuage some of such feelings.

“Other parties are mostly regional or individual-oriented”; “what is the use of being in a party if you can serve people,” said Prasada.

Praising Prasada, Goyal said the BJP will gain strength and he will also be able work for the people. 

Prasada praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for all welfare and development programmes he had launched, and called Home Minister Amit Shah a ‘karmyogi’. He  said the BJP was the only party that was truly institutionalised/organisation-based.

“Other parties are now mostly regional or individual based/oriented,” he said. 

He said: “If we cannot help people, protect their interests, there is no use of being in politics. I was not being able to serve people (in Congress) .” 

“This is a new chapter of my life. I have been associated with three generations of the Congress. I have taken the decision after a lot of consideration.” “The question is not which party I am leaving but the party I am joining. The BJP is the only party that is truly a national party. Only BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi can take the country to a new level. I want to be a part of the new India PM Modi is trying to build,” he said.  



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