Delhi MP Udit Raj, who was denied a BJP ticket to contest from Northwest Delhi on Wednesday reportedly joined Congress. According to the news agency ANI, BJP MP Udit Raj has joined Congress in presence of party President Rahul Gandhi. A picture of both the leaders standing together was shared by Congress’ official Twitter handle with the caption, Congress President Rahul Gandhi welcomes Shri Udit Raj into the Congress party.
Before switching, Udit Raj had posted a Tweet saying he will resign from BJP if the party does not name him as a candidate from the North West seat for the ongoing 17th Lok Sabha election. But BJP dropped and replaced him with singer-politician Hans Raj Hans as its candidate for the North West Delhi constituency seat. Udit Raj had won from the seat in 2014.
Trying to build pressure on party and BJP leaders, Udit Raj had said he is waiting for the ticket, if not given, he will say goodbye to the party. Raj also claimed that he tried to talk to the party chief Amit Shah and PM Narendra Modi but did not get the time from them. He added that he met with Union Minister Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari and they had told him to wait.
Udit Raj said he trusted the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and merged his Indian Justice Party with the BJP but now he feels that many regional parties have benefited more by remaining independent. The Dalit leader said he is deeply hurt that he was not given a chance to defend himself.
Raj had won in 2014. As a mark of protest, before joining the Congress today, the former Indian Justice Party chief removed the prefix chowkidar from his Twitter handle. Raj is a sitting member of parliament from the reserved northwest Delhi parliamentary seat and the National Chairman of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations. He had joined BJP on February 23, 2014.
Earlier, he was a vocal critic of the BJP but after getting a ticket from the party Raj praised the political organisation for being more sympathetic to the aboriginal SC/ST communities and declared that the Dalits have a brighter future in the organisation. Raj, a Dalit, was converted from Hinduism to Buddhism in 2001.