In a setback for the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, the deputy chairman of the party’s state media cell, Narendra Saluja, who is a close associate of former chief minister Kamal Nath, joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday , a development taking place amid Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra sweeping across the state.
Saluja said he joined the BJP after members of the Sikh community questioned the congratulations of Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath who faced allegations related to the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 in Indore earlier this month.
An argument had broken out after Kamal Nath was congratulated by the organizers at a Sikh religious event held at Khalsa College in Indore on November 8. After Nath left the hall, famous kirtan singer Manpreet Singh Kanpuri lashed out at the organizers for inviting the congress leader.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan welcomed Saluja to the BJP sheepfold at his official residence. Forestry Minister Vijay Shah and Lokendra Parashar, the responsible media cell of the BJP, attended the occasion.
However, the chairman of the state media cell of the Congress, KK Mishra, said that Saluja was recently expelled from the party.
Chouhan welcomed Saluja and said he joined the BJP because he was impressed by the policies of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Saluja’s decision to join the BJP will strengthen the party, he said.
Saluja said, “I have decided to join the BJP after protests following Kamal Nath’s congratulations in Indore on 8 November, on the issue of his role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.” “The words of the well-known Kirtankar Manpreet Singh Kanpuri in protest against Nath’s role in the 1984 riots have been echoing in my ears ever since. That’s why I decided to join the BJP,” he said.
Congress Mishra said that Saluja was also previously removed from his position due to his ties to the BJP, but after apologizing to Nath, he was reinstated.
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