In the run-up to the assembly polls in the state, Dayanand Chandela, who was elected MLA on a Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket in the last elections from Vishnu Garden constituency in west Delhi, joined the Congress party on Tuesday.
The announcement has come within a week of Gujjar leader Ramvir Singh Bidhuri leaving Nationalist Congress Party and joining the Congress with two other municipal councillors of his party.
Delhi state unit president of Bahujan Samaj Party, Jagi ram Bhati, had also joined the Congress earlier this month with 24 supporters.
Chandela had resigned from the BJP and the house on the final day of the Delhi assembly session on September 12.
Chandela’s son Meghraj Chandela and daughter-in-law Meenakshi Chandela, municipal councillors from Vishnu Garden and Khayala municipal wards respectively in west Delhi, also joined the Congress on Tuesday.
Meghraj and Meenakshi had contested the last municipal elections on Jharkhand Mukti Morcha party tickets after they were refused tickets by the BJP.
Talking to the media, Chandela said he had always been supportive to the Congress’ policies for the masses. “I was being criticised within the BJP for appreciating the Congress for its steps taken to regularise unauthorised colonies. I resigned from the BJP because of its wrong policies,” Chandela told HT.
When asked if he would contest the upcoming elections, Chandela said he would go by the party’s decision. Interestingly, the Vishnu Garden assembly constituency on which Chandela had contested last elections has dissolved following the delimitation process.
Welcoming Chandela into the fold, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said it will definitely “strengthen” the party.
Senior Delhi Congress leaders accepted that Chandela and his family enjoys a good support in west Delhi and his joining the Congress has brightened the party’s chances in the upcoming elections.