Leader of Opposition in Uttarakhand assembly Indira Hriyadesh on Monday said a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader could join Congress in the presence of party president Rahul Gandhi, who is likely to be in Dehradun to address a rally on Saturday in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.
“The senior BJP leader is in contact with Rahul Gandhi. This leader will be joining during his visit here,” said Hriyadesh, legislator of Haldwani and a senior Congress leader.
It’s been two months since Congress had been claiming that BJP leaders would be joining the party, but none has joined so far.
With Election Commission of India (ECI) announcing the dates of general election for Uttarakhand on April 11, the national parties have become active.
Earlier, Congress leaders had named BJP cabinet minister and legislator of Bajpur (Udham Singh Nagar district) Yashpal Arya in the context. Arya however, rejected any such claim. He maintained that he was in the run for LS ticket from Nainital-US Nagar seat, but if denied, he would support party’s chosen candidate.
“Such claims are baseless. I am a party (BJP) leader and if won’t given ticket, would respect party’s decision and support the candidate,” he said a few days ago.
The saffron party is facing the problem of plenty. To minimise the ticket claim for general election, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat last week gave ministerial berths to 52 leaders and party members of BJP.
Balraj Pasi, who was former Member of Parliament from Nainital-US Nagar and claimant of the ticket, was appointed vice-president of watershed management.
While Rawat’s all nine cabinet ministers are in the run, there are others, including sitting MPs and senior party leaders, in the race for the ticket.
Reacting on the claim of Hriyadesh, BJP state president Ajay Bhatt said: “Who would want to ride a sinking boat? Congress is the sinking boat. They do not have leaders to contest the election. Such claims are baseless.”
Mar 12, 2019 17:18 IST