Former Indian National Congress (INC) leader 47-year-old Jitin Prasada has joined the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).
Prasada, who was also close to Rahul Gandhi, is a very high-profile political leader with a large mass base that he has created over two decades.
In a statement Prasada said:
“I have a three-generation connection with the Congress, so I took this important decision after a lot of deliberation. In the last eight-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 the national party.”
In an interview with the NDTV, Prasada has ruled out making any deal with Home Minister Amit Shah or party chief JP Nadda prior to his joining the ruling outfit.
“It is not about Rahul or any particular leader. I didn’t do any deal with Nadda or Shahji… I will do whatever the party gives me.”
With Prasada’s exist from the INC, the focus is now a group of 23 party members, known as “G-23”, party dissidents who have earlier written to Sonia Gandhi calling for crucial reforms.
A mmeber of G-23, Kapil Sibal told NDTV that he disapproves of “Prasada Ram politics” or “Crass Prasada politics” based on personal gain rather than ideology.
“I don’t want to comment on what the party leadership has done or not done. We have reached a stage in Indian politics where decisions of this nature are not based on ideology at all. They are based on what I now call Prasada Ram politics.”
Prasada is the second high profile loss for the INC after Jyotiraditya Scindia, another leader close to Rahul Gandhi, switched to the BJP last year.
Scindia was in fact responsible for bringing down the INC government in Madhya Pradesh.
Reacting to Prasada’s joining the BJP, Scindia told media:
“He is like my younger brother, and I welcome him to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). I congratulate him.”
With Prasada’s exist, now all eyes are once again looking at Sachin Pilot.
In 2020, Pilot has revolted against Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and was to be persuaded by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi to end his rebellion.
He recently reminded his party leaders that nothing had changed since then.
Pilot’s friend Prasada feels that the so-called promised reforms haven’t been delivered and no one knows who will deliver them.
“If we haven’t addressed it, we haven’t. We are fighting within the system we have continued to raise issues. All that we want to say is it is time to listen. If the head stops listening, the organization will decline. All that we want is that the Congress party should listen to us.”
Prominent BJP leaders, Amit Shah, Yogi Adityanath and Himanta Biswa Sarma have welcomed Prasada to the party who is expected to help in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections.
BJP’s young gun Tejaswi Surya even tweeted reminding the people of India how INC treats its young politicians:
Prasada, a former Lok Sabha MP from Dhaurahra, feels “it was no use staying in a party where there was no will to serve the people of the country.”
With only four Congress-ruled states, Rajasthan, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, and so much disconent amongst the young guns of the grand old party, the question now arises – will INC survive another shock?
WATCH VIDEO: Shri Jitin Prasad joins BJP in presence of Shri Piyush Goyal at BJP HQ.