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On Wednesday, 9 June 2021, senior congress leader Jitin Prasad changed ships and joined the BJP from the INC. Sources close to Jitin Prasad have revealed that he was increasingly upset with the party’s functioning, especially on his home ground, Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh. The catalyst to his big decision came when the Congress party changed guard in his home district of Shahjahanpur without any discussion with him.
Congress leaders that worked closely with Prasad also mentioned that he was resentful towards the Samajwadi Party leaders that defected to Congress and got way more attention than Congress leaders that have served for many years. With another transfer of an influential Congress leader to BJP, things are not going in the right direction for Congress.
Prasad reportedly met with the Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his residence before going to the BJP party headquarters and joining the BJP officially. Prasad himself has remarked that his decision to change ships came after a ‘lot of deliberation’ as he comes from a family of Congress leaders. He also remarked that he was choosing to join the BJP because he no longer felt that he could work for the people he represented. In another shocking statement, Prasad claimed that the BJP is the only truly national party in Indian politics. Other parties are only regional, which was also another reason for his switch.
With the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections right around the corner in 2022, this switch can have dire consequences for Congress in the upcoming elections. Jitin Prasad was the minister of state for Human Resource in the 2009 Lok Sabha. He also comes from an influential political family and is a third-generation Congress leader. He was one of the most prominent Brahmin faces of Congress in Uttar Pradesh. As one of the prominent faces of the Brahmin vote bank in Uttar Pradesh, this move is certainly going to alter the balance of power in the upcoming state elections.
Jitin Prasad was a part of the rebel group of Congress that wrote to Sonia Gandhi last year for making some significant changes in the Congress party. This was done in light of the terrible result of Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. From being a rebel to joining a separate party, Jitin Prasad has made headlines since last year.
As the Chattisgarh unit of INC came out with a jab in a tweet thanking Jitin Prasad for leaving the Congress party, Congress did not take this move lightly. Other Congress leaders such as Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury remarked Jitin Prasad to be a “good man” and commented that this change is in search of “greener pastures”.