RPN Singh, one of the Congress’s most prominent leaders in Uttar Pradesh, quit the party on Tuesday and crossed over to the BJP ahead of next month’s election in the state. He is likely to contest the UP polls from his stronghold Padrauna, from where he has been elected MLA thrice.
“I have been in one party for the last 32 years, but today I must say that party is no longer what it used to be. Today, everyone knows that if there is one party that is working for the benefit of the people and is working on building the nation, it is the BJP,” RPN Singh told reporters this afternoon. On stage with him was Jyotiraditya Scindia, who took the Congress-to-BJP route in 2020.
This is a new beginning for me and I look forward to my contribution to nation building under the visionary leadership & guidance of the Honourable Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi, BJP President Shri @JPNadda ji & Honourable Home Minister @AmitShah ji.
Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Manipur, Punjab, and Uttarakhand will vote over seven phases starting February 10, with counting of votes scheduled for March 10.
A total of 690 Assembly constituencies will vote over the next two months, with the maximum in UP (403 seats) followed by Punjab (117), Uttarakhand (70), Manipur (60) and Goa (40).
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Following former Union Minister RPN Singh’s exit from the Congress and joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Jharkhand Congress MLA from Barkagaon Amba Prasad claimed that Singh had colluded with BJP for more than a year to overthrow the Congress-JMM (Jharkhand Mukti Morcha) government in Jharkhand.
“The party leadership was also being frequently warned over this. Every true Congress worker of Jharkhand is happy with his going to BJP,” Ms Prasad wrote on her official Twitter handle.
Notably, RPN Singh was the AICC in-charge of Jharkhand till the time he tendered his resignation.
Ahead of the Uttarakhand Assembly elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Madan Kaushik on Tuesday filed his nomination papers.
He was accompanied by CM Pushkar Singh Dhami, Cabinet Minister Swami Yatishwaranand.
Earlier on January 20, BJP had announced that Kaushik will contest from Haridwar in the upcoming assembly elections.
Mr Kaushik is four times MLA from the Haridwar constituency.
The party has so far announced the names of candidates for 59 out of 70 seats in Uttarakhand for the upcoming assembly polls.
The BJP has fielded Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami from Khatima.