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Udit Raj joins Congress, says BJP likes deaf, dumb leader

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 25, 2019, 2:00 am IST
Updated : Apr 25, 2019, 2:00 am IST

Raj thanked Congress president Rahul Gandhi for accepting him into the party fold.

Udit Raj
 Udit Raj

NEW DELHI: Disgruntled BJP MP from northwest Delhi Udit Raj joined the Congress on Wednesday after being denied a ticket and slammed his former party saying it wants Dalit votes but not a leader from the community who speaks his mind.

The Northwest Delhi MP switched sides a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fielded singer Hans Raj Hans in the reserved seat which Mr Raj represented in the Lok Sabha. Addressing a press conference at the party office after joining the Congress, Mr Raj said: “The BJP carried out internal surveys by various agencies of all the seven seats in Delhi, and out of the seven Lok Sabha constituencies the only positive feedback came from my seat. But I was denied a ticket as I took a stand on 14-15 issues against the party line, because I was not deaf and dumb. I took a stand on the SC/ST Act and supported the Bharat Bandh called last year.”

Mr Raj thanked Congress president Rahul Gandhi for accepting him into the party fold. Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala slammed the BJP and listed several past incidents like attacks on Dalits in Una in Gujarat and the suicide of Hyderabad scholar Rohit Vemula to show the ruling party’s bias against the community.

“Udit Raj will now strengthen the hands of Rahulji,” said Mr Surjewala.

Mr Raj claimed that on May 20, 2014, now President Ram Nath Kovind met him with his bio-data. “BJP SC/ST Morcha leader Vivek Sonkar was a witness to that meeting. He (Mr Kovind) had asked me to help him get a proper position in the party.”

“Kovind also wanted to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. However, he was made the President as he remained silent. If I too had remained silent, they (BJP) would have made me the Prime Minister some day.”

Mr Raj said that he wanted to join the Congress since 2012-13 and Mr Rahul Gandhi knew about this. “The BJP is an anti-Dalit party and they don’t want the uplift of Dalits... The BJP keeps harping that everyone gets an opportunity in the party but in reality this is not so.”

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