VC Shukla to rejoin Congress | india | Hindustan Times
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VC Shukla to rejoin Congress

Former union minister, who had crossed over to the BJP just before 2004 general elections, is shortly to rejoin the Congress.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2007 21:09 IST

Former union minister in successive governments Vidya Charan Shukla, who had crossed over to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) just before the 2004 general elections, is shortly to rejoin the Congress party.

Along with him, three other former Congressmen from Chhattisgarh - former minister Arvind Netam, former chairman of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission Dilip Singh Bhuria and Mohammad Baloch, will also rejoin the Congress party.

"Congress president Sonia Gandhi approved on Friday the re-entry of these ex-Congressmen into the party," said a statement issued by All India Congress Committee general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi.

Shukla contested the 2004 general elections from Mahamsamund in Chhattisgarh on the BJP ticket and lost to former chief minister Ajit Jogi.

Since the Congress' return to power in 2004, Shukla had been trying to get back into the Congress. So far, his detractors in the party, led chiefly by Ajit Jogi, had been blocking his return.

Shukla has been a central minister from the days of the late Indira Gandhi. He was a minister of information and broadcasting during the emergency. Later, he was also a minister under Rajiv Gandhi, but left the Congress party to float the Jan Morcha with Arun Nehru, VP Singh and Arif Mohammad Khan and then formed the Janata Dal.

He was a minister in the National Front government but when the VP Singh government fell, he went over to Chandra Shekhar and was again a minister in his government.

After Chandra Shekhar lost, he joined the Congress under PV Narasimha Rao.

He left the Congress in March 1999 to go over to the BJP, a little unhappy that the Congress leadership made Ajit Jogi the state chief minister ignoring him.

Jogi, asked for comments on Shukla's return, said, "She (Congress president Sonia Gandhi) has the habit of taking the right decisions at the right time."

Asked how this would solve the problems of the tribals in his state, Jogi said, "We will together solve the problem of tribal exploitation under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi."