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Former Congress spokesperson joins BJP

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New Delhi/Ahmedabad, April 11: Former Congress spokesperson Rohan Gupta joined the BJP on Thursday, marking the defection of yet another visible opposition face to the ruling party in the election season.
Gupta, along with some other leaders, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri and the party’s national general secretary Vinod Tawde as he accused his former party of having lost direction and credibility due to its drift from its traditional stands on issues, such as nationalism and Sanatan Dharma.
Former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Parampal Kaur, who recently resigned from the service, her husband Gurpreet Singh Maluka, who is the son of senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sikander Singh Maluka, and Youth Congress leader Jahanzaib Sirwal also joined the ruling party at a ceremony, lauding India’s rise under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Gupta last month turned down the Congress’s candidature for him from the Ahmedabad East Lok Sabha seat, a BJP citadel, and then quit the party as he blamed his “constant humiliation and character assassination by a leader connected with the communication department” of the grand old party for his decision, an apparent swipe at Jairam Ramesh, the Congress general secretary in charge of the party’s communication department.
The leader who has “Ram” in his name asked them to keep mum when Sanatan Dharma was being insulted, Gupta told reporters, adding that those who have never fought an election are formulating the vision for the Congress. (PTI)
The Congress has gravitated to the Left, the former social media head of the party said. On one hand, the party said it respected the Supreme Court verdict paving the way for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya but on the other, it did not attend the consecration ceremony of the temple, he said.
Gupta cited the Congress’s stand on a host of issues, including its opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and aligning with a party like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) despite its strident criticism in the past, to make his point.
Gupta expressed his support to the BJP leadership’s agenda of a “viksit Bharat” by 2047 and lauded Modi’s vision.
Recently, another former Congress spokesperson, Gourav Vallabh, also joined the BJP.
The three other leaders lauded Modi for India’s global rise and development under his watch.
Tawde said their presence will further strengthen the BJP.
Sirwal said “political brokerage” in Jammu and Kashmir has been finished by the BJP.
Maluka said he is joining the saffron party for the development of Punjab.
Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi told reporters in Ahmedabad that Gupta’s allegiance to the BJP was exposed when he decided to turn down the Lok Sabha poll ticket offered to him by the Congress.
“Unofficially, Gupta was associated with the BJP for a long time. It was an inside story and we knew it beforehand that staying with the Congress was his game. The Congress party gave him positions, prestige and he used this to make money and then went on to betray the party,” Doshi alleged.
“We knew everything from the start. The party gave him a chance to contest the election and this (his backing out of the poll race) revealed everything. Now, he is reading out the script given to him by the BJP,” the Congress leader said.
While withdrawing his candidature from Ahmedabad East, Gupta had said he was doing so at his ailing father’s insistence.
His father refused to avail of treatment in the ICU, where he was rushed to due to a panic attack, unless he gave in to his demand, Gupta had said.
In 2004, Gupta’s father, a Congress candidate, lost the Lok Sabha polls from Ahmedabad. PTI KR KA PD RC
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