Madhya Pradesh: Three BJP leaders join Congress, say ‘joining secular forces’
BJP corporators Shankar Yadav and Usman Patel and party leader Rajik Qureshi Farshiwala joined the Congress in the presence of CM Kamal Nath in Indore on Friday
In a blow to the BJP ahead of civic body polls in Madhya Pradesh, three of its leaders — two Indore corporators and a close aide of BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya — joined the Congress in the presence of the state Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Friday in Indore.
BJP corporators Shankar Yadav and Usman Patel and party leader Rajik Qureshi Farshiwala said they were quitting BJP to “join secular forces and those acting against ‘mafia raj’ in Madhya Pradesh”.
Patel had resigned from BJP earlier this month in protest against CAA and what he called BJP’s “divisive politics”.
Shankar Yadav, a mayoral council member and public works department head of Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC), pledged his alliance to Congress. “The biggest reason of my joining Congress is Kamal Nath launching a drive against mafia,” he said, referring to the ongoing crackdown on crime syndicates, land mafia and those indulging in adulteration on the orders of the CM.
Patel seconded Yadav’s thoughts, and added that he stood firmly against “black laws” like CAA, NRC and NPR being brought about by BJP. “Congress believes in communal harmony and works to improve the lives of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and of all other religions,” he said.
The corporators were joined by Farshiwala, who had followed Patel in quitting BJP in January over CAA with his 80 protesters. Farshiwala, a close confidante of Vijayvargiya, had started his political career with Congress, but had joined BJP a decade ago. He had played a vital role in Vijayvargiya’s campaigning during assembly polls in Mhow in 2013.
Speaking on the occasion, CM Nath said: “They have seen the truth (about BJP). They will support Congress later. First, they are here to support the truth. This is an example of realising what truth is. More will follow and secure their futures.” The CM alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stopped talking about youth and unemployment, and is instead speaking about Pakistan and raking up nationalist sentiments.
“What kind of ‘kalakari ki rajniti’ (manipulative politics) and divertive politics is this?” Nath wondered adding that we don’t want to be misled. We understand the ‘kalakari ki rajniti’. Now, you have to understand,” said Nath.
Commenting over the issue, BJP city president Gopikrishna Meena said, “Congress is dying across the country. The BJP leaders joining them will only weep, sitting next to the dead body,” he said, adding: “People leaving and joining another party is a routine happening, and won’t affect BJP’s strength.”