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Punished by BJP for speaking up on Dalits, says Udit Raj after joining Congress

The BJP’s member of Parliament from North West Delhi Udit Raj had said on Tuesday morning that he will resign from the party if he was not named as the candidate from the seat in the ongoing Lok Sabha election.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 24, 2019 13:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Udit Raj,north west delhi lok sabha seat,BJp
Congress President RahulGandhi welcomed former BJP MP from Northwest Delhi Udit Raj into the party.(ANI photo)

Prominent Dalit leader Udit Raj, who was denied a ticket by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha election, joined the Congress party on Wednesday.

The BJP’s member of Parliament from North West Delhi Udit Raj had said on Tuesday morning that he will resign from the party if he was not named as the candidate from the seat in the ongoing Lok Sabha election. The ruling party at the Centre has announced Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans’ name for the North West Delhi seat.

“Congress President @RahulGandhi welcomes Shri Udit Raj into the Congress party,” the party tweeted on Wednesday.

Udit Raj said he was denied ticket the BJP for speaking out about atrocities against Dalits. “The BJP is against the interests of Dalits. It wants people who wouldn’t utter a word when Dallits are made to suffer,” Raj said.

He was welcomed into the Congress by Delhi unit chief Sheila Dikshit and national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

Read here: Full coverage of Lok Sabha elections 2019

Raj said on Monday that he had tried to talk to BJP chief Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi about his ticket but did not get any response. Senior party leaders, including Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh, had asked him to wait, he had claimed.

In a series of tweets Tuesday morning, Udit Raj had tried to building pressure on the party for a ticket. “I am waiting for ticket if not given to me, I will do goodbye to party,” he wrote.

Raj later said while speaking to reporters that he did not know the reason why the BJP denied him a ticket.

“I trusted the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and merged my Indian Justice Party with the BJP. I now realise many smaller regional parties have benefited more by remaining independent…. I’m deeply hurt that I was not even given a chance to defend myself,” Raj said.

The BJP had fielded Udit Raj, who had joined it just before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, from North West Delhi in the last Lok Sabha election to garner the support of the Scheduled Castes voters from the seat reserved seat for the community.

First Published: Apr 24, 2019 11:37 IST

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