MLA Gian Chand Gupta on Saturday said that BJP has never been involved in “politics of casteism”. Gupta, who is contesting for a second term, made the statement while replying to a question during a press conference at the Sector 8 party office. “We have always been against such politics and have worked hard to eradicate it from our system. We are taking 36 castes with us as we move forward,” the 71-year-old sitting MLA said while welcoming Haryana Congress treasurer and former president of Municipal Council Tarun Bhandari and other Congress leaders into BJP.
Stating that the people sitting in the panel belonged to different castes ranging from Baniyas to Pandits and Jatts, Gupta said, “We are not against any religion. Everybody is equal to us.” Besides Tarun Bhandari, who is a close associate of former Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanvar, many senior leaders of the party including former Congress secretary and Gau Seva Commission Chairperson Santosh Sharma, former chairman of Zila Parishad Ravinder Rana Bator and Balwant Rai Vashisht joined the BJP Saturday along with their several supporters.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar felicitated the leaders at a programme organised at his residence, where MLA Gupta was also present.
Tarun Bhandari said that he was quitting Congress because “he was not given the respect he deserved.”
“I did not leave because I was denied the ticket. I never applied for it in the first place.I worked for them for 26 years and got nothing in return. Leaving Congress was a tough decision and I thought about it for days before actually taking the step. But after yesterday, when Selja visited the city and I was not even given a call, I decided to leave. I have started from zero in BJP and will work even harder to reach the top here, as I did in Congress,” he said.
While welcoming Tarun, Gupta said, “Tarun had been involved with Congress for the past 26 years and has worked hard for the party. But BJP’s developmental works and good governance policies have left an impression upon them which led them to make the switch.”
Taking a dig at the way the Congress workers are leaving the party, Gupta said, “Panchkula will soon be Congress-free (congress-mukt)”.
Reacting to the same, Congress candidate from Panchkula Chander Mohan said, “We respected everybody in our party. I believe the workers of the party must respect the decisions made by our senior leaders. As for the number of people leaving the party, if two are leaving, at least 4000 are joining. We are stronger than ever and will definitely win the elections and form the government.”