Cong candidate joins BJP

Cong candidate joins BJP

In a jolt to the Congress ahead of Lok Sabha polls, retired IAS officer Bhagirath Prasad, whom the party had declared its candidate from Bhind seat in Madhya Pradesh, on Sunday joined the BJP.

Prasad, who was announced the Congress candidate from Bhind seat only on Saturday, had unsuccessfully contested the last Lok Sabha elections on the party ticket from the same seat. This time also the Congress relied on him and nominated him from the same seat, but switched over to the saffron party.

Welcoming Prasad into the BJP fold, state party unit president Narendra Singh Tomar said the former IAS officer has joined politics to serve society. Prasad had initially joined the Congress and after remaining in the party for almost five years, he decided to join the BJP “to fulfil his goal”.

Addressing mediapersons, Prasad said he had joined the Congress in 2009 after quitting as the vice chancellor of Devi Ahilyabai Vishwa Vidyalaya, Indore and contested the Lok Sabha polls from Bhind.

“After remaining in the Congress since then, I realised that there is no situation in the party (Congress) where you can serve the people the way you want. It has lot of divisions,” Prasad alleged. He also praised Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, specially his welfare schemes for every section of society. "The welfare of people is possible only through this (BJP) party," he said.

When asked whether he had asked for a Congress ticket and why after getting the party nomination he decided to quit, Prasad chose to remain silent. Tomar said the BJP state election committee, which will meet on March 12, will take a call on the issue of giving party ticket to Prasad from Bhind. Prasad was considered close to Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, sources said. He had earlier served on many important positions, including as the state home secretary and also as Indore Collector.

During the November 2013 Assembly polls, the Congress had received a setback when its sitting MP from Hoshangabad seat Rao Uday Pratap Singh joined the BJP at the peak of electioneering. Meanwhile, Chouhan welcomed Prasad into the party fold by offering him a bouquet at his residence here.

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