Congress leader Narayan Dutt Tiwari and his son Rohit Shekhar on Wednesday joined the BJP in the presence of BJP President Amit Shah following much speculation regarding the move. Tiwari has been seeking a ticket for Rohit from Kumaon region of Uttarakhand and had reportedly agreed with the BJP regarding the same.
Tiwari has earlier served as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh three times and was also the Uttarakhand CM from 2002 to 2007. He has also been the Governor of united Andhra Pradesh Governor. In 1986–1987, he served in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s cabinet as Minister for External Affairs. His desertion of the Congress will deal a heavy blow to the party after 11 elected MLAs including former CM Vijay Bahuguna and Harak Singh Rawat crossed over to the BJP.
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Tiwari’s entry into BJP will strengthen the party in a big way as he is one of the most influential leaders from the state who wields considerable clout in both Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, BJP spokesman Munna Singh Chauhan told PTI. While Uttarakhand votes on February 15, UP votes in seven phases from February 11 to March 8.
In 2013, Shekhar had filed a paternity suit claiming that the Congress leader and 67-year-old Ujjwala Sharma were his biological parents. While initially refusing to undergo any DNA tests, Tiwari finally agreed and the test results declared that Rohit was his biological son. The Delhi HC in 2014 passed an order declaring Shekhar as the biological son of ND Tiwari.