In a move that came as a shock to many, Congress heavyweight, Kunwar Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh, known as RPN Singh, left the Congress for the BJP just a fortnight before the UP elections scheduled to be held from the 10th of February, 2022.
His move to the BJP comes as an unprecedented shock to the Congress leaders. The loss of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) leader in charge of Jharkhand and Chattisgarh, comes as a huge loss to his former party who were relying heavily on his leadership in the upcoming elections.
His name was considered to be one of the stars in the party for campaigning in the upcoming elections.
Kunwar Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh submitted his resignation to interim Congress president, Ms. Sonia Gandhi. He announced his induction into the BJP via a tweet that heralded his “new beginning” under the “visionary leadership” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
RPN Singh was welcomed in Delhi by Dharmendra Pradhan, the Union Education Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Civil Aviation Minister, and Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, the two deputy chief ministers of UP.
Dharmendra Pradhan admitted that he was after Singh’s move to the BJP for a long time, “Since 2004, I was after (Jyotiraditya) Scindia, and told him that he’s the right person in the wrong place. When I met Singh, who was then a minister… I told him that he should be with Narendra Modi and take the country forward. I thank both of them for joining the party as this is a good sign”.
RPN Singh took a jibe at the Congress as he commented, “It’s no longer the party where I began… Not the same ideology. For years, people had been telling me to join the BJP. Here I am today, better late than never.”
RPN Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia were colleagues in the Congress, as recently as March 2020. Scindia, after Singh’s welcoming into the BJP, posted on Koo, “A heartfelt welcome in the BJP family to Uttar Pradesh’s senior leader RPN Singh.
My wish is that you continue to work in the service of the nation by joining the world’s largest political party dedicated to the service of the nation under the leadership of the successful Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
I am sure that your excellent experience in public service will give more strength and energy to the resolve for the development of the party”.
Congress spokesperson, Supriya Shrinate, retorted against Singh’s betrayal of his former party. She commented, “This battle(against BJP) can only be fought with courage and bravery… Only a coward can jump to a party with completely opposite ideology”.
TMC spokesperson, Mohua Moitra, also spoke out against Singh in a tweet which went, “Heavyweight or deadweight? Those who have not won a seat in over a decade moving to BJP on election eve”.
Why did Singh leave?
Souring of relations between Singh and the Congress leadership started over in 2019 when Congress took an opposing stance over the nullification of Article 370 in Kashmir. Singh, accompanied by Jyotiraditya Scindia was of the opinion that the party should understand the way of public opinion.
He also asked his former party members to refrain from using personal attacks on Prime Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha, later in the same year which had led to a further rift between the Gandhis and Singh.
Singh’s departure was followed by the departure of Kushinagar district president Rajkumar Singh, general secretary TN Singh and Kisan Morcha chief Awadhesh Singh, who are considered to be loyalists of Singh, for the BJP. Charges of neglect and non-cooperation were leveled against the party by their former members.
The series of departures does question the competency of Priyanka Vadra Gandhi who was charged with the duty of consolidating the party before the UP elections.
The departure of RPN Singh will surely bring about a shift in the dynamic of the upcoming elections. The only question is how.
Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked
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This Post is tagged under: BJP, UP Elections, Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, BJP Saffron Politics, All India Congress Committee, #yogiadityanath, election influencing, Sonia Gandhi, Modi Government