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Another jolt to Cong as OBC face joins BJP to protest Rawat’s ‘betrayal’

dehradun Updated: Jan 25, 2017 16:42 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times

Congress leader Santosh Kashyap and others join BJP in presence of party’s state in-charge Shyam Jaju and former CM Vijay Bahuguna, in Dehradun on Tuesday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

Chairperson of state council for other backward class, Santosh Kashyap, along with three other senior Congress leaders joined the opposition BJP on Tuesday.

Other three Congress leaders who switched allegiance to BJP are former state Congress general secretary Ram Kothari, its OBC cell chairman Chandra Shekhar Kashyap and Uttarakhand Congress committee secretary Haji Dilshad Ahmad Qureshi.

The defections come at a time when the assembly election is less than a month away. Kashyap, the Congress’ OBC face from Haridwar, is the 15th prominent Congress leader to join the opposition party. Former minister and prominent Dalit leader Yashpal Arya and his son Sanjiv had joined BJP recently.

All the four Congress leaders joined BJP in the presence of the party’s national vice-president Sham Jaju at the party state headquarters here. Former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, a new entrant in the saffron party, was also present on the occasion.

Later at a press conference, Kashyap questioned chief minister Harish Rawat’s decision to contest the assembly election from Haridwar (Rural). “The party (Congress) should have given ticket to some of its local OBC leaders from that assembly constituency,” Kashyap said. “Instead, the chief minister himself grabbed that seat betraying the members of the entire other backward class.”

Kashyap warned Congress that the OBC community will teach Rawat a lesson by sealing his defeat from Haridwar-Rural constituency.

First Published: Jan 24, 2017 20:19 IST