Hours after he was suspended from Congress, former MLA Nishith Patel on Saturday joined the ruling BJP and accused Congress of neglecting the poor and tribals.
Patel joined the saffron outfit in the presence of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar at a by-poll rally in Barhi under Bahoriband assembly constituency in Katni district, 300km from Bhopal.
"I am joining BJP after watching the party’s dedication towards people. I am impressed by its commitment for welfare of the common man," Patel said on the occasion.
Patel said he was influenced by the personality of prime minister Narendra Modi and Chouhan. Criticising Congress, he said the party had always left tribals, the poor and farmers in lurch after elections.
Earlier in the day, Congress suspended Patel for participating in "anti-party" activities.
State Congress president Arun Yadav has suspended Patel for his "anti-party" activities, party spokesman KK Mishra told media early on Saturday. Patel had been allegedly working against Sourabh Singh, the Congress candidate from Bahoriband, where by-elections will be held on August 21 along with two other seats in the state. Patel fought the 2013 assembly polls from Bahoriband as Congress nominee but lost to Prabhat Pandey of BJP.