Congress leader Jitin Prasada on Wednesday joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in New Delhi in presence of Union minister Piyush Goyal.
The development came shortly after BJP spokesperson and Uttarakhand MP Anil Baluni announced the "joining of an eminent personality" into the party's fold on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Terming his exit from Congress and induction in BJP as a fresh chapter, Prasada said that there is only one national party in India. "In the last 8-10 years, I have felt that if there is one party that is truly national, it is the BJP. The other parties are regional but this is a national party," Prasada said, addressing the media at BJP headquarters.
Prasada said that his decision to leave the Congress comes after a lot of deliberation, adding that his connection with the party spans three generations.
"The question today is not which party I am leaving, or which party am I coming from. I have joined BJP today with the intention of contributing to the new India that PM Modi is building," the former Union minister said.
Alleging that he was not allowed to work in Congress, Prasada said, "I felt that what is the relevance of staying in a party if you cannot work for your people or protect their interests.
"I felt I was unable to do that at Congress. I thank people in Congress who blessed me all these years but now I will work as a dedicated BJP worker," Prasada said.
Before switching to the saffron party, Prasada reached Union minister Piyush Goyal’s residence in Delhi and met him.
The 47-year-old, a former Union minister, was among the signatory dissenter in the Congress party who sent the letter to high command seeking an active and full-time party president. Prasada is also a special invitee to the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
After Prasada dissented, the Lakhimpur Kheri District Congress reportedly passed a resolution demanding action against him, a leader from Uttar Pradesh, and accused his family of being against the Gandhi family. Jitender Prasada, the father of Jitin, had also unsuccessfully contested for the post of Congress president against Sonia Gandhi in the past, the district Congress committee reportedly said.
Prasada's last assignment was to handle the West Bengal elections where the Congress performed poorly. His party has set up a committee to look into the reasons behind this loss, however, the Bengal post-mortem is pending.