Sanjay Sinh quits Congress and RS, set to join BJP
In a setback to the Congress, Sanjay Sinh, Rajya Sabha member and a close associate of the Gandhi family, resigned from the party and the Upper House on Tuesday, saying that he would join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday and support Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the entire country is behind the latter.
Sinh, 67, a Rajya Sabha member from Assam, also took a dig at the Congress, saying it is still living in the past and unaware of the future. “I felt that in today’s India, PM Narendra Modi is leading the country with the vision of sabka saath, sabka vishwas. He is walking the talk and that’s why the whole country is with him and so am I,” he told reporters in Delhi soon after Rajya Sabha deputy chairman, Harivansh, announced that his resignation from the Upper House had been accepted.
Sinh’s defection has dealt another blow to the Congress, which is already grappling with a leadership crisis and a series of desertions in different states. A little over two months after Rahul Gandhi offered his resignation to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) at a fractious meeting on May 25, the party is yet to find his successor.
While some senior leaders, including Punjab chief minister, Captain Amarinder Singh and Shashi Tharoor, have pitched for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to take charge, Rahul Gandhi has insisted that the next president should be someone from outside the Gandhi family. Party veterans Karan Singh and Janardan Dwivedi have questioned the delay in the selection process.
Sinh’s current term in the Rajya sabha was set to end in April 2020 and the BJP is likely to renominate him to the Upper House in the coming months. Sinh, who is from the Amethi royal family, won the Amethi Lok Sabha election in 1998 on a BJP ticket, but could not repeat his victory in 1999. He unsuccessfully contested the recent Lok Sabha elections from Sultanpur against BJP’s Maneka Gandhi.
On his exit, Congress spokesperson Pranav Jha said, “He may be feeling that it will be beneficial for him to join the BJP for political gain, but public sentiments are never permanent -- they change in no time if the governments fail in delivering.”