Vadakkan ‘cleanses his crimes’ by joining BJP

Vadakkan ‘cleanses his crimes’ by joining BJP

Former Congress leader Tom Vadakkan after he joined Bharatiya Janta Party, in New Delhi onThursday. (PTI Photo)

A prominent Congress functionary Tom Vadakkan on Thursday sprung a surprise by joining the BJP, causing embarrassment to the grand old party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Vadakkan, a Delhi-bred Malayali, always nursed the ambition to contest elections from his home town Thrissur in Kerala, where the state unit of the Congress has always considered him as an outsider.

He has been a loyalist of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and was the part of the first media committee constituted by her after taking over as party president in 1998.

He met BJP president Amit Shah at party headquarters here and formally joined the ruling party at a press conference addressed by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Vadakkan, the secretary of the AICC media department for nearly 15 years, is a familiar face in the media circles in the national capital and known for his constant presence at the AICC headquarters for interaction with journalists.

After Rahul Gandhi revamped the media department, Vadakkan was elevated as AICC spokesman but eased out of the responsibility as AICC secretary. He was a familiar Congress face on news television debates.

The 61-year-old functionary ended his association with the Congress saying he was “deeply hurt” after the Congress questioned the integrity of the armed forces who carried out the Balakot air strikes.

“I believe in the prime minister’s development,” the former Congress spokesperson said, adding that he was grateful to the BJP president “who has trusted him and accepted his membership to the party”.

Ironically, last month Vadakkan had tweeted: “Once you join the BJP all your crimes are cleansed”.

An unfazed Vadakkan, brushed aside criticism on joining the BJP, a party he had been slamming almost on a daily basis. He said whatever he had said earlier was not his personal opinion but only a script given to him by the Congress.

“Our best wishes to him,” Congress’ chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said when asked to comment on Vadakkan’s exit.

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