Back in Congress,Yashpal Arya gets to work. Claims more will exit BJP
The Uttarakhand BJP has rubbished Yashpal Arya’s claim, saying that he was going to be the only one to leave the BJP and join the Congress, and added that he was driven by personal interest
DEHRADUN: Former Uttarakhand minister Yashpal Arya, who joined the Congress after his surprise exit from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, claimed that more leaders from the BJP could leave the party ahead of state elections early next year, saying his homecoming was akin to the BJP returning the principal amount and it was yet to pay back the “interest” on the loan.
“My son and my return to the Congress is just the return of the principal sum. I want to tell the BJP that the interest on this capital is yet to come,” he said, claiming that there were “many other BJP leaders” who want to come to the Congress.
The BJP promptly rubbished his claim, saying he was going to be the only one to leave the party and was driven by personal interest. ”No other party member would leave the party. We will unitedly contest the upcoming elections,” said state BJP president Madan Kaushik.
In the Congress, six-time MLA Yashpal Arya’s claims were interpreted to signal that he was attempting to persuade some other BJP leaders to quit and party and team with the Congress, particularly those who quit the Congress in 2016 and 2017 when the BJP was in the opposition and Harish Rawat the chief minister of the hill state.
Arya said he switched parties because he was feeling “suffocated” in the BJP. “One doesn’t have any freedom to express his view or opinion there. Hence, I decided to return to the Congress for which I am grateful to the party leadership for welcoming me to the party fold,” said Arya at a news conference at his house in Haldwani.
He continued: “Many other BJP MLAs, who are unhappy with the party leadership, want to join Congress. Soon, they will join the party and expose BJP which has an ideology, which is against the poor, Dalits, farmers and women”.
A Congress leader said Arya, considered a prominent Dalit face in state politics, was being supported by the faction led by the leader of opposition Pritam Singh.
“That faction is keen on welcoming more BJP leaders especially those who had gone there in 2016 episode which brought down Harish Rawat government.”
Pritam Singh, however, insisted that there were no active plans on the drawing board to induct more BJP leaders but added that the party’s doors are open for anyone willing to join. He also made it a point to emphasise that this was not anything rare in a democracy; that politicians switched sides.
“Let me clear one thing...In democracy there is no party where leaders have not gone out or come in. This happens in democracy...We will welcome anyone willing to come to our side to save democracy which is in danger today. But that will of course happen with the approval of our national leadership- Sonia and Rahul Gandhi,” said Singh.