New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Udit Raj, the BJP MP who on Wednesday joined the Congress, hit out at the saffron party, claiming he was denied a ticket because he took stand contrary to the party lines on many issues, and also termed it an anti-Dalit party.
The sitting MP from North West Delhi switched sides a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) denied him a ticket and fielded singer Hans Raj Hans in the reserved seat.
“Congress President Rahul Gandhi welcomes Udit Raj into the Congress party,” tweeted the Congress.
Addressing a press conference at the party office after joining the Congress, Raj said: “The BJP carried out internal surveys by various agencies of all the seven seats in Delhi, and out of the seven Lok Sabha constituencies, the only positive feedback came from my seat.
“But I was denied a ticket as I took stand on issues against the party lines, because I was not deaf and dumb. I took a stand on the SC/ST Act and supported the Bharat Bandh called last year.”
He said that he also took stand on over 14-15 issues contrary to the party line.
Raj also expressed his gratitude to Rahul Gandhi for accepting him in the Congress.
Taking potshots at the BJP, Raj said: “On May 20, 2014, (President) Ram Nath Kovind came to me with his bio-data. BJP’s SC/ST Morcha leader Vivek Sonkar is a witness to that meeting. He (Kovind) had asked me to help him get a proper position in the party.
“The BJP did not think him fit… Kovind also wanted to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. However, he was made the President as he remained silent. If I too had remained silent, they (BJP) would have made me the Prime Minister some day.”
Raj said that he wanted to join the Congress since 2012-13 and Rahul Gandhi had the knowledge about it.
Slamming the ruling BJP, he said: “The BJP is an anti-Dalit party and they don’t want the upliftment of Dalits. The India Today gave me the award of best MP.”
The BJP keeps on harping that everyone gets an opportunity in the party but in reality, the same is not practised, he alleged.
He said that the BJP wanted a Dalit leader who remains silent in the party.
Delhi Congress chief and three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that Raj joining the party would help the party in the elections to all the seven seats in the national capital.
Earlier in the day, in a series of tweets, Raj said: “It was nice to speak to senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra. He was saddened over denial of ticket to me.”
Raj said he would not have felt so bad had he been informed about being denied the ticket. “Why did the party declare the name on the last day of filing nomination?” he asked.