Musing if ex-Congress leader Jitin Prasada will be rewarded after he joined the BJP, Congress veteran Kapil Sibal on Thursday wondered if the UP leader was merely a 'catch' for state elections. Slamming Prasad, Sibal maintained that if ‘ideology’ doesn’t matter changeover is easy. Notably, Sibal had joined Prasada is writing to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, seeking structural changes in Congress.
Jitin Prasada— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) June 10, 2021
The question is will he get “ prasada “ from BJP or is he just a ‘catch’ for UP elections ?
In such deals if ‘ideology’ doesn’t matter changeover is easy
In wake of Prasada's exit, UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu lamented that Prasada had jumped ship despite the party providing him multiple opportunities including his recent key West Bengal role. Similarly, multiple state Congress Twitter handles thanked Prasada for leaving with MP Congress going as far as labelling him 'garbage'. On the other hand, several other Congress leaders like Rashid Alvi, Harish Rawat, Milind Deora called for introspection in Congress, with Rawat terming it a slap on the party's face. Ex-Congress leaders like Sanjay Jha and Aditi Singh blamed the Congress for not paying attention to disgruntled leaders, calling Prasada's exit a gain for BJP. All BJP leaders shared welcoming messages as Prasada joined the saffron party at BJP headquarters in the presence of Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, months ahead of the all-important UP polls in early 2022.
Joining the BJP, the 48-year-old former Union Minister claimed that BJP was the only remaining national party, while all others were reduced to regional levels. "In the last 8-10 years I have felt that if there is one party that is truly national, it is BJP. Other parties are regional but this is national party. I felt my earlier party cannot work for its people," said Prasada. He is the second Rahul aide after Jyotiraditya Scindia to join BJP in recent years.
Prasada was previously made AICC in-charge for the West Bengal Assembly polls in which his party was wiped out. Incidentally, Prasada is one of the 23 senior leaders who had written to interim-chief Sonia Gandhi seeking 'structural changes', internal election to the CWC even at state levels, the formation of an Independent Election Authority, and institutional leadership mechanism, full-time leadership at the helm at the party. His 'rebellion' was met with stiff opposition with UP Congress' Lakhimpur unit passing a resolution seeking strict action against him, claiming he and his family have been against the Gandhis.
Commencing his political career with the Indian Youth Congress in 2001, he won his first election three years later by winning the Shahajahanpur Lok Sabha seat. After winning the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Dhaurara, he erved as MoS during the Manmohan Singh-led UPA tenure handling portfolios such as Steel, Petroleum & Natural Gas, Road Transport & Highways and Human Resource Development. However, his career suffered a setback as he lost to BJP's Rekha Verma from Dhaurahra not just in 2014 but also in 2019 where he lost his deposit.