Nagpur: Former BJP MLA Ashish Deshmukh on Wednesday formally joined Congress at a function held at party headquarters in New Delhi. Before joining Congress, Deshmukh went to the residence of party President Rahul Gandhi and gifted him a book.
Manavendra Singh, son of senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh, also joined Congress along with Ashish Deshmukh. Manavendra Singh is MLA from Barmer in Rajasthan.
It may be recalled that after quitting BJP on October 2, Deshmukh a had announced he will join Congress during Navratri. He had met Rahul Gandhi during his public rally organised at Wardha on Gandhi Jayanti. Deshmukh was camping in Delhi since then. On October 14, Deshmukh had participated in a farmers’ rally at Muzaffarpur in UP along with BJP rebels Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha.
Congress General Secretary Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot and party spokesman Randeep Surjewala were present when Deshmukh joined Congress.
Deshmukh, who represents Katol constituency in Nagpur district, has been a dissenting voice within BJP from some time as he has accused the BJP-led state government of being ‘anti-farmer’. He also accused the party of indulging in “divisive and vote bank politics.”