‘I wasn’t being able to fulfil the aspirations of people’: Jitin Prasada
Jitin Prasada, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday, spoke to HT about the timing of his move, why he chose the BJP, and while refusing to blame individuals in the Congress, talked about the general disconnect between the party and the people in his home state of Uttar Pradesh. Edited excerpts:
The move doesn’t come as that much of a surprise. You almost joined the BJP in 2019 and then held back-- what changed since then?
It’s not about surprises, but in the last two years, I have been travelling across the country and in my interactions with people, I began to realise that I’m not being able to fulfil the expectations of the very people I promised to work for. And when you see a dilution in that, you start feeling that the organisation that you belong to is not being able to fulfil the expectations of the people, especially in the state that I come from.
How long have you been feeling like this?
It’s not about a particular time, it’s about a series of election defeats, the interactions with people, their suggestions and their talk; they reach out to you to for help and work but you are not able to fulfil it. That’s when you have to take a decision.
Did the BJP approach you or did you approach them?
It’s not about who approached whom. I’m not going to tell you other than it’s a decision that I’m very happy to have taken. I’m happy to be part of a party that’s the only national party that exists in India. It functions on an institutional basis rather than on whims and fancies that revolve around a particular person.
Are you referring to the whims and fancies of the people in charge now -- SoniaGandhi, or Rahul Gandhi?
I am talking about the parties in general, not about a particular party.
But the party that you are quitting is the Congress?
Today, is my first day in the BJP, and today isn’t the day of why I left a particular party.
One of the first people who reached out on Twitter was Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who also like you quit the Congress. Did you seek his advice before leaving?
No, I didn’t have any interaction with him, but I hope to meet him very soon and congratulate him on his victory in Assam
You talked about successive defeats...
Defeats and wins are part of politics. I am talking about the distancing at large from the people of a political party, especially in my state. The disconnect has led to serious defeats and it isn’t being course corrected.
When you talk about disconnect, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is the state in-charge and she has been trying since 2019 to revive the Congress. Is this an indictment of her?
I am not talking about just the last two years. I’m talking of what’s happened over the years. You know the results of what’s happened.
If we talk about BJP, you are joining at a difficult time since in your state, their leaders have criticised their handling of Covid.
They have voiced their concerns, but as far as I’m concerned, I am going to work for the party and we are going to see elections in Uttar Pradesh soon. Apart from that, I am looking at doing whatever they decide to put me to work. I feel that my energy will be utilised and that will make me successful.
Do you bring the Brahmin vote to the table for BJP?
I belong to that community and have been taking up their cause on a non-political platform. Hopefully, I’ll be able to help them much more now.