Key aide of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Tom Vadakkan, on Thursday left the Congress to join the BJP in the presence of several senior BJP leaders including Ravi Shankar Prasad. He also met BJP President Amit Shah before formally announcing his shock exit from the Congress.
Explaining his announcement, Vadakkan said, “I left Congress party because when Pakistani terrorists attacked on our land, the reaction from my party was sad indeed. It hurt me deeply when you question the integrity of the armed forces. I am deeply hurt.”
He went on to add that it was not a question of ideology but a matter of patriotism. “If a political party takes such a position that is against the country then I’m left with no option but to leave the party,” he added.
The Congress party has said that Vadakkan’s announcement had come as a shock and it will examine the reasons for his decision. Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Anybody who leaves a party to join another other party has to make certain comments. The way he used to abuse (Narendra) Modi, Amit Shah, I want to know what their opinions are on it.”
Vadakkan, who was very close to the top leadership of the Congress party, leaving the party has indeed left party shocked. Only two days ago, he was seen sharing a tweet by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the AICC General Secretary in-charge of UP East. Among other tweets, Vadakkan had written on 7 March, “People of Uttar Pradesh beware of Jhoota’s of the BJP MLA’s & MP’s multi purpose use. BJP’s Jhoota surgical strike on BJP.”
Vadakkan also criticised his old party of promoting dynasty in a direct attack on Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his family.
Vadakkan joining the BJP just days before the Lok Sabha polls is indeed a huge setback to the party, which is desperately trying to revive itself in the electoral battle against the saffron party.