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Sunday, October 17, 2021

In election-bound Uttarakhand, Congress MLA joins BJP

Rajkumar was elected as an MLA for the first time as a BJP candidate from the Sahaspur seat in Dehradun district when that constituency was reserved for SCs.

Written by Liz Mathew , Lalmani Verma | Dehradun, New Delhi |
Updated: September 13, 2021 5:32:29 am
Rajkumar had been with the BJP from 2007 to 2012, but quit the party and joined the Congress after he was denied a ticket in the 2017 polls. (Express Photo)

The BJP received a shot in the arm in poll-bound Uttarakhand after a Congress MLA joined the saffron party at its national headquarters in New Delhi Sunday.

Congress legislator Rajkumar, elected from Purola Uttarkashi district — an SC seat —was welcomed at the BJP office in the presence of Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, state party chief Madan Kaushik and party media head and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni. This comes days after Independent MLA Pritam Singh Panwar joined BJP.

Rajkumar was elected as an MLA for the first time as a BJP candidate from the Sahaspur seat in Dehradun district when that constituency was reserved for SCs. In 2012, when Sahaspur seat was declared unreserved, he moved to Purola but the BJP denied him a ticket. Rajkumar then turned rebel and contested as an Independent candidate, but was unable to win the seat.

In 2013, he returned to the BJP, but after he was again denied a ticket in 2017, he joined the Congress and was fielded from Purola, where he defeated the BJP candidate — one of only 11 Congress nominees to be elected in the 70-member House.

On Sunday, Rajkumar said he was returning to the BJP as he has seen the party’s work in Uttarakhand.

The Congress asked the Speaker to cancel Rajkumar’s House membership law and demanded that he be banned from contesting the polls.

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