Updated: January 27, 2022 10:41:57 pm
Hours after being removed from the primary membership of the Congress for six years and weeks ahead of the Assembly elections, former Uttarakhand party president Kishore joined the BJP on Thursday. Upadhyay joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of its state election in-charge Pralhad Joshi, state president Madan Kaushik and central minister Ajay Bhatt.
A fortnight ago, the Congress removed Upadhyay from all positions for “anti-party activities” pending further action in the matter. The step was taken after Upadhyay met meeting senior state BJP leaders, which he claimed was in connection to his Vanadhikar Andolan.
“Since you had been continuously indulging in anti-party activities despite several warnings, you are hereby expelled from the primary membership of Congress party for six years with immediate effect,” said Congress Uttarakhand in-charge Devendra Yadav in a letter.
In another letter to Upadhyay, Yadav accused him of “hobnobbing” with the BJP and other political parties and continuous anti-party activities.
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On January 3, Upadhyay met senior BJP leaders at the residence of the party’s state organisational general secretary Ajeya Kumar in the presence of its election in-charge Pralhad Joshi. This meeting fuelled speculations of him joining the saffron party.
However, after his meeting with the BJP leaders in Dehradun, the 63-year-old Upadhyay denied the possibility of joining the saffron party and said that he is meeting leaders of different parties to convince them to support his Vanadhikar Andolan and ensure the issue figures in the 2022 Uttarakhand Assembly elections.
Upadhyay has been openly critical about the party in the recent past and alleged he did not get justice despite having his significant role in establishing Congress in the state. A former MLA, who won from the Tehri assembly constituency in 2002 and 2007, Upadhyay was the president of the Congress’ Uttarakhand unit from 2014 to 2017.
When asked about his previous statements showing his dissatisfaction with the Congress party, he also said his meetings with other party leaders was not connected with that.
“Harish Rawat is a senior leader, but if Harish Rawat has the highest role in establishing Congress here, then I too have a 10-20 per cent role. Everybody accepts this, even though I might not have got justice accordingly. I have established the party here… Based on my contribution should I have been a cabinet minister? Should I have been the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader or the president? Several times I was neglected for the Rajya Sabha seat. However, I am thankful to the party that they made a poor farmer’s son reach till here,” he said.
Before his removal, Upadhyay was the chairman of the Uttarakhand Congress Coordination Committee and a member of the state Congress Core Committee and the Uttarakhand Congress Pradesh Election Committee.
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