New Delhi: Uttarakhand Congress MLA Rajkumar, joined Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday, prior to the upcoming legislative assembly elections. The Dalit leader, who represents Purola constituency in the Uttarakhand assembly, joined the BJP at New Delhi, in the presence of Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, state party president Madan Kaushik and Rajya Sabha MP from the state Anil Baluni.
Joining BJP , Rajkumar appreciated the BJP governments at the Centre and in Uttarakhand for ushering in infrastructure development like all-weather roads. He also mounded praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and claimed that, while the Congress made Dalits dependent on the grants,while BJP has worked to make them self-reliant.
Rajkumar, who was in the BJP earlier, praised the Modi government for providing free grains to the poor following the COVID-19 outbreak and taking other welfare measures. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan praised Rajkumar as a people’s leader, and claimed that his joining the BJP, is a big indication of the party’s success in the polls. Under Modi and Dhami, the BJP will win and the state will have a ‘dual-engine’ government, he added.
Rajkumar was a member of BJP from 2007 to 2012, but decamped to Congress after he was denied poll ticket by the BJP in the 2017 assembly polls. Rajkumar is the second serving MLA to join the ruling party ahead of the polls. Independent MLA Pritam Singh Panwar had also recently joined the BJP, as the party boosts its arms to take on the Congress in the assembly polls in the state, scheduled for early next year.