Former union minister and two-time Lok Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh Jitin Prasada joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today in the presence of party president JP Nadda and Union Minister Piyush Goyal at its headquarters in Delhi. The development is seen as a major jolt to Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi as Jitin was considered a core team member.
Jitin joining the ruling party could prove a major gain for the BJP as Prasada is a known Brahmin face in Central UP. Jitin Prasada is considered to wield strong clout among the Brahmin community, mainly in central Uttar Pradesh. The next assembly election in Uttar Pradesh will be due in February 2022.
Jitin Prasada had won from Shahjahanpur and Dhaurahra Lok Sabha constituencies in the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Prasada is the son of Congress veteran Jitendra Prasada, who served as the political advisor to former prime ministers Rajiv Gandhi and PV Narasimha Rao.
He had served as the MoS for Steel from April 2008 to May 2009 in the UPA I government. He also held the portfolios of Minister of State, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Road Transport and Highways, and Human Resource Development in UPA II.
The 47-year-old Prasada, a former union minister, was among the signatory dissenters in the INC who had sent the letter to high command seeking an active and full-time party president. Prasada is also a special invitee to the CWC.
After Prasada dissented, the Lakhimpur Kheri District Congress reportedly passed a resolution demanding action against him, a leader from Uttar Pradesh, and accused his family of being against the Nehru-Gandhi family.
Jitendra Prasada, the father of Jitin Prasada, had unsuccessfully contested for the post of INC president against Sonia Gandhi on 9 November 2000. He died of a heart attack soon after (16 January 2001).
Jitin Prasada’s last assignment was to handle the West Bengal elections where the INC performed poorly. His party has set up a committee to look into the reasons behind this loss, however, the Bengal post-mortem is pending