New Delhi: Udit Raj, the BJP MP who on Wednesday jumped ship to the Congress, hit out at the saffron party, claiming that he was denied a ticket because he took stand on many issues against the party lines.
The sitting MP from North West Delhi was denied a ticket for the Lok Sabha elections by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which fielded singer Hans Raj Hans from the reserved seat.
“Congress President Rahul Gandhi welcomes Udit Raj into the Congress party,” the Congress tweeted.
Addressing a press conference at the party office after joining the Congress, 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 stand on issues against the party lines and because I was not deaf and dumb. I took a stand on the SC/ST Act and supported the Bharat Band called last year.”
Raj also expressed his gratitude to Rahul Gandhi for allowing him to join the Congress.
Taking a pot shot at the BJP, Raj said: “On May 20, 2014, (President) Ram Nath Kovind came to me with his bio-data. BJP’s SC/ST Morcha leader Vivek Sonkar is a witness to that meeting. He (Kovind) had asked me to help him get a proper position in the party.
“The BJP did not think him fit though Kovind was planning to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. However, he was made the President as he remained silent. If I too remained silent, they (BJP) would have made me the Prime Minister some day.”
Delhi Congress chief and three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that Raj joining the party would help the Congress in the elections on all the seven seats of the national capital.
Earlier in the day, in a series of tweets, Raj said: “It was nice to speak to senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra. He was saddened over denial of ticket to me.”
Raj said he would not have felt so bad had he been informed about being denied the ticket. “Why did the party declare the name on the last day of filing nomination,” he asked.