In a setback for Congress a year ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections, former union minister Jitin Prasada today joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Union minister Piyush Goyal and party leader Anil Baluni at its headquarters in Delhi. Prasada is a two-time Lok Sabha MP but had lost to BJP’s Rekha Verma from Dhaurahra in 2014 and 2019. While he stood third in the 2019 polls, he was placed fourth in the 2014 polls.
Jitin Prasada joining the BJP is being seen as a setback for the Congress party’s Uttar Pradesh plan as he was in the core team of Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi.
Prasada is being termed as a prize catch for the BJP as he is a known Brahmin face in central UP and could benefit the saffron party in the upcoming election.
Prior to joining the BJP, Jitin Prasada met Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the latter’s residence.
After joining the BJP, Prasada said that he was unable to help people while in Congress. He also thanked PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and other senior BJP leaders for the opportunity. He said that he will work as a BJP worker with the motto of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikash’.
The former Congress leader said that if there is any institutional party at present in the country, it is the BJP. “Other parties have become of individuals and regional identities,” said Prasada.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that Jitin has been working for the people of Uttar Pradesh from a very young age. Goyal recalled how Prasada followed a railway project to get the work done even after the BJP government came to power in 2014.
Jitin Prasada is the son of late Congress leader Jitendra Prasada. He had been the MoS Steel in UPA-I and Minister of State, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Road Transport and Highways, and Human Resource Development in UPA-II.
Prasada was among the G23 Congress dissenters and had also faced protest from within the party.