Sonia’s aide Tom Vadakkanand, Mamata’s Arjun join BJP
In a big embarrassment to the Congress, a close aide to Sonia Gandhi and Congress general secretary Tom Vadakkan — “hurt” by his Congress’ response to the IAF’s Balakot strike — joined the BJP. The Congress brushed aside the claim saying Tom had always abused Narendra Modi. The BJP got a boost in Bengal also with 4-time TMC MLA and Mamata Banerjee’s confidant Arjun Singh joining it.
Tom joined the BJP after spending 30 years in the Congress giving a boost to the BJP’s political aspirations down south in Kerala.
In a way, the BJP netted two former aides of two top women leaders as earlier in the day Trinamool Congress leader Arun Singh who has been a confidant of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also formally moved over to the BJP in the presence of party general secretary Vijay Vergia.
Vaddakkan and Singh both claimed that doubts raised by their former leaders on the integrity and capability of Indian Air Force prompted their exit from their respective parties. Singh, an MLA from Bhatpara, may be BJP’s candidate in the coming Lok Sabha poll, according to sources.
Vadakkan who was welcomed by Union Minister and senior BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad here in the BJP headquarters attributed the immediate cause for his crossing over the BJP to be the alleged questioning of the integrity of the armed forces by the Congress leaders. “ I am deeply hurt and that is why I am here”, said the leader from Kerala’s Thrissur district of Kerala. “It is the question of ‘Desh Prem’,” he further said seeking to add heft to his entry to the saffron fold.
Though there is no confirmation yet Vadakkan, a catholic by religion, may be fielded by his ‘new party’ from Thrissur LS segment.
Friday, 15 March 2019 | PNS | New Delhi
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