Vajpayee's niece Karuna Shukla joins Congress | india | Hindustan Times
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Vajpayee's niece Karuna Shukla joins Congress

india Updated: Feb 27, 2014 18:19 IST
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Former Prime Minister and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee's niece Karuna Shukla on Thursday joined Congress and slammed Narendra Modi, saying his promise of serving the country was nothing but "plain dishonesty".

"BJP has nominated its PM candidate a person who did not fulfill the duty of a husband or rajdharma (ruler's duty) when he was chief minister. If such a person talks about discharging rashtradharma (duty toward nation), I will call it plain dishonesty".

Attacking Modi, she said people of the country will never allow such a person to become prime minister.

"Let him trumpet about the wave. It does not take time for the weather to change. Waves change fast," she said.

"I served the BJP for 32 years. The kind of degradation that has happened in the BJP during the past seven to eight years is unparalleled. After Atal Bihari Vajpayee fell sick, a group has in a way captured the BJP," she said.

Asked whether she meant Modi or Raman Singh by her refrain that BJP was captured by a group, she said when she is speaking from the national office of a party, her allegations are directed against the national leaders.

In the same breath she praised Congress saying people of the country know about the sacrifices made by this party and the family (Nehru-Gandhi).

Shukla, 63, had criticised the party leadership, including Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh on several occasions in the past. She became a BJP MLA first in 1993 and was one of the senior leaders in Chhattisgarh, but had felt being sidelined.

A former MP from Janjgir constituency of Chhattisgarh, she had lost the 2009 elections from Korba to Charan Das Mahant of Congress. She resigned from BJP on October 25 last year alleging that the party was "under the grip of power politics". Since then, speculation about her joining the Congress was rife.

Welcoming her into party fold, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said her joining Congress has a symbolical value.

"She was brought up imbibing the value system of a person (Vajpayee) who had immense contribution in making of BJP. But she has severed ties with that party because of the bad culture that crept there in recent years," Dwivedi said.

She was one of the national vice presidents of the BJP as well as the former national president of the BJP Mahila Morcha besides holding other posts in the party in past.

Shukla praised the praised the ideology of Congress and the "sacrifice" of Nehru-Gandhi family and expressed confidence that people will support the party and not BJP and the 2014 Lok Sabha elections will mark the end of "communal forces".