Ahead of significant elections in Uttar Pradesh in 2022, senior Congress leader Jitin Prasada joined the rival camp Bharatiya Janata Party on June 9. This is was hinted earlier today by BJP MP Anil Baluni, who tweeted that ‘an eminent personality will join BJP today’.
Prasada was seen leaving his Defence Colony residence on Wednesday, ahead of his joining BJP camp on Wednesday.
Jitin Prasada is a prominent brahmin leader and a known political face in Uttar Pradesh. He has served as Minister of State during Manmohan Singh-led UPA tenure. At the time he handled various portfolios of the core sectors such as Road Transport & Highways, Human Resource Development and Steel, Petroleum & Natural Gas.
The leader has been at odds with the Congress’ leadership and was also a part of ‘G23’ leaders who had written to Party Chief Sonia Gandhi, requesting an overhaul of the Congress following the defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
He is the son of prominent Congress leader Jitendra Prasad, who worked as political advisor to former PM PV Narsimhan Rao. Jitin began his political career with IYC Indian Youth Congress as a general secretary. He won his first Lok Sabha election in 2014 from his hometown seat in Shahjahanpur. In 2009, he won the election from Dhaurara.
However, Prasada lost the last two Lok Sabha polls contesting on Congress ticket from Dhaurara. In July last year he launched ‘Brahmin Chetna Parishad’ to voice the Brahmin community’s issues in Uttar Pradesh.
Jitin was groomed as one of the next generations of leaders and was promoted by Rahul Gandhi during the 10 years of UPA rule.
His induction into BJP is especially embarrassing for Congress as he was currently in-charge of West Bengal, where Congress touched its lowest ever tally in the recently concluded Assembly polls.
Some of the other young leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindhia have already joined the BJP. While others like Sachin Pilot have un-successfully raised the banner of revolt within the party ranks.
BJP has begun making moves, months ahead of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 2022. Assembly polls for the Hindi heartland are expected between February to March 2022, for 403 seats of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. The term of current assembly elected in 2017 will expire on March 14, 2022.