Congress leader from Kerala joins BJP

Vijayan Thomas blames factionalism, among others, for his departure

March 12, 2021 10:46 pm | Updated 10:49 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Senior Congress leader Vijayan Thomas being greeted after he joined BJP party, in New Delhi, Friday, March 12, 2021.

Senior Congress leader Vijayan Thomas being greeted after he joined BJP party, in New Delhi, Friday, March 12, 2021.

Vijayan Thomas, former general secretary of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), joined the BJP in New Delhi on Friday. He blamed the unresolved question of national leadership and the factionalism within the Congress’s Kerala unit for his departure from that party.

He met BJP president J.P. Nadda and Union Minister Amit Shah before joining the party in the presence of BJP general secretary Arun Singh and spokesperson Tom Vadakkan.

“You know what is happening in the Congress. At the national level, they don’t even have a regional party’s presence. Senior leaders have formed the G23, so who is left to take decisions? Even in States, things are adrift. I’m just the start of the exodus from the Congress. Even [P.C.] Chacko left, openly stating what his issues are, of the two groups that are making problems in the State unit. There are many others who are aggrieved,” he said.

He denied that his leaving the Congress had anything to do with not getting a seat. “We also have some principles,” he said. “I was co-ordinator for Trivandrum and working in a constituency called Nemam. Look what has happened there now. The Congress may be fighting against the CPI(M), but their main opponent is the BJP. In all States, we [the Congress] are behind regional parties, yet no one bothers to resolve anything, nobody is ready to listen.”

Nemam is a seat won by the BJP in 2016 and there were many claimants in the Congress for the constituency, including Mr. Thomas.

BJP sources said they expected more arrivals to the party after the Congress announces its list of candidates.

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