Ending all speculation, Uttarakhand Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Legislative Assembly Bhim Lal Arya on Monday night said he would never desert his party and was not joining the Congress.
Talking to reporters in Dehradun, Arya, flanked by former Chief Ministers B C Khanduri and B S Koshiyari, dismissed reports about his joining the Congress.
"I have ended the controversy surrounding my leaving the BJP. I am not going anywhere and I will remain in the party," the MLA from Ghansali said. He said he was not a vegetable which anybody could buy.
"I am not a potato or a tomato which anyone can buy. If such thing happens, this will be a big blot on democracy," Arya said. Speculation was rife about Arya joining the Congress, a month after another BJP MLA Kiran Mandal had quit Sitarganj seat in favour of Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna.
When asked about a letter purportedly written by him asking the BJP high command not to field any candidate against Bahuguna from Sitarganj, Arya refused to comment on it.
He, however, did not deny the existence of the letter. Khanduri accused the Congress of carrying out a "mischievous propaganda" against the BJP.
"A bad atmosphere is being created in Uttarakhand as if someone is buying an MLA from an open market through a bidding process," he said.
"We must stop corruption in our state," Khanduri said.
Earlier, Uttarakhand Congress president and Revenue minister Yashpal Arya said the BJP MLA had not contacted him so far. "The ruling party will take an appropriate action when the MLA establishes contact," he said.