Former Indian National Congress (INC) leader Kripashankar Singh, who had served as the minister of state for home in the previous INC-NCP government in Maharashtra, joined the BJP on 7 July. Singh, who was known as the north Indian Congressman in Mumbai, had also served as the head of the Mumbai INC from 2008 to 2012. He had resigned from the party in 2019 in the run-up to the state Assembly elections and there had been hints ever since that he would be joining the BJP.
The BJP had earlier targeted Singh, who had been linked to several cases of corruption as well as allegations of holding assets disproportionate to known sources of income.
The Congressman had stated on record that the 26/11 terror attack by 10 Pakistani militants was actually an incident orchestrated by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
When contacted on 6 July, Singh acknowledged that he was joining BJP. “I had resigned from the INC on 10 September 2019 over the issue of Article 370. I feel comfortable with the BJP and hence, will join the party.”
The Congressman is joining the BJP on 7 July in the presence of state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil.
The INC, meanwhile, downplayed Singh’s exit. Mumbai INC working president Charan Sapra said, “He had left us in 2019 and it is for him to decide his future. I don’t think that INC has been dented by his exit in the last two years. Many young North Indian leaders are emerging to carry the mantle of INC.”
In June 2019, media had reported that Singh had met then Devendra Fadnavis, triggering speculations over him joining the BJP.
The latest move of the former Congressman comes ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections slated to be held in 2022. BJP insiders are of the view that Singh’s north Indian community following will come to help the party in its efforts to defeat the Shiv Sena, its estranged ally. The party has already launched Mission 2022 to build a campaign ahead of the BMC polls next year.
Meanwhile, the report said that Yatin Kadam, son of late INC legislator from Niphad Raosaheb Kadam may also join the BJP today.