A senior Madhya Pradesh Congress legislator joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday hours after hitting out at his own party in the assembly.
Choudhary Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi, deputy leader of the Congress legislature party, joined the saffron outfit after expressing his opposition to a Congress-sponsored no confidence motion in the assembly and criticising All India Congress Committee General Secretary Digvijay Singh over a tweet.
Chaturvedi announced his decision to join the BJP at a press conference, which he jointly addressed with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state BJP president Narendra Singh Tomar. The MLA said he had spoken against the no confidence motion in the assembly as a matter of principle and maintained he could not compromise with his ideology.
Chaturvedi also said that he was hurt by Digvijay's tweet referring to former BJP minister Raghavji who has been arrested on sodomy charges. He said he would work with total devotion for the BJP in the state, which is to hold assembly elections by the end of this year.
Chaturvedi’s father, Dilip Singh, had been elected to the state assembly on a BJP ticket in 1980.
Welcoming Chaturvedi into BJP, Chouhan praised the leader for his "courageous" decision. Chaturvedi is known for his knowledge of parliamentary rules and regulations and has always sided with the truth during discussions in the assembly, the chief minister said.
Chaturvedi's departure is being seen as a setback for the Congress, which has lost the last two assembly elections (2003 and 2008) in the state.
Image: Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh