Congress eyes Rajput votes as BJP’s Manvendra Singh joins party1 min read . Updated: 18 Oct 2018, 09:46 AM IST
BJP MLA Abhijeet Deshmukh from Nagpur also joined the Congress on Wednesday
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a blow on Wednesday with senior Rajasthan MLA (member of legislative assembly) Manvendra Singh joining the Congress.
This comes just a day after the party pulled off a mini coup in Goa with two Congress MLAs joining the BJP.
Senior Congress leaders feel the party will do well in the Barmer-Jaisalmer belt, with the induction of Singh, the son of former Union minister and BJP veteran Jaswant Singh, as his family draws considerable support from the Rajput community.
BJP MLA Abhijeet Deshmukh from Nagpur also joined the Congress on Wednesday.
“We met Rahul Gandhi in the morning.... I am confident that our supporters who have been with us in tough times will help the Congress not just in the state polls, but also in the Lok Sabha polls," Singh said at a joint press conference with senior Congress leaders.
With the elections to five states—Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana—due in November-December, both national parties are witnessing a series of defections.
The Congress also suffered a blow in Chhattisgarh with its state working president Ramdayal Uike switching sides to join the BJP. Congress leaders are, however, upbeat about BJP leaders joining the party.
“The situation is such in the BJP that their own leaders are very unhappy. We have a long line of leaders who are requesting us that they want to leave BJP and join the Congress. Our party president will decide how and when to include them," said former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, who is the Congress’ national general secretary and in-charge of organizations and training.
“We have to be careful in whom we induct and whom we don’t. While senior leaders like Singh could be an asset for the party, in some cases we witness that new inductions, particularly from the rival party just before the polls, leads to upsetting local leaders," said a senior Congress leader, requesting anonymity.