North-West Delhi MP Udit Raj, who quit the BJP on Tuesday after being denied the party ticket from the constituency, on Wednesday joined the Congress with the message that he would work to defeat the “anti-Dalit BJP” in this election.
Till the last day of filing of nominations for Delhi's seven Lok Sabha seats that go to the polls on May 12, Mr. Raj waited for some communication from the BJP. After meeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi at the latter’s residence on Wednesday morning, he addressed a press conference along with party leaders K.C. Venugopal, Sheila Dikshit and Randeep Surjewala at the its headquarters.
“I have joined the Congress today [Wednesday]. I wanted to join earlier and Mr. Gandhi knew that. If the BJP had given me the ticket from there [North-West Delhi], then I would have contested. But, with this decision, the main thing that has emerged is that the BJP is anti-Dalit,” he said.
Welcoming him into the party, Mr. Venugopal said: “Udit Raj is a dynamic and sincere face of Indian politics. We were in Parliament together...He fought against his own government on some of the issues pertaining to Dalits.”
Ms. Dikshit, the three-time Delhi Chief Minister and currently Delhi Congress president and North-East Delhi candidate, said she had known Mr. Raj for about 20 years and was not happy when he joined the BJP.
Mr. Raj said he told Mr. Gandhi that he did not want anything and would campaign in support of the party to defeat the BJP.