Lucknow: Former union minister Jitin Prasada, who recently switched from the Congress to the BJP, on Saturday met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath here and said they discussed issues related to strengthening the organisation.
“I met the chief minister and sought his blessings,” said Prasada who arrived in his home state Uttar Pradesh for the first time after joining the BJP on June 9.
A UP government official termed it as a “courtesy meeting”.
Prasada said they discussed ways to ensure that the welfare schemes reach the public more effectively and the party organisation is strengthened further “so that the state and the country can be served”.
On the decision to join the BJP, Prasada said it is the only party where the people are rewarded for their hard work.
“There is high enthusiasm among my supporters, and this decision was taken keeping in mind public sentiments.
“There is a strong leadership, organisation and a clear-cut direction in the party. The BJP is the only party where policy decisions are made keeping in mind the views and sentiments of the workers and the organisation. It is the only party where on the basis of hardwork people are rewarded,” he said.
On June 9, Congress leader Jitin Prasada joined the BJP, seen as an attempt by the ruling party to shore up its caste arithmetic for assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh scheduled for early next year.
The 47-year-old Prasada, who was a minister in the previous UPA government, comes from a well-known Brahmin family of Uttar Pradesh and was serving as the Congress leader in-charge of West Bengal before joining the BJP.
His father Jitendra Prasada was a key Congress leader whose fortunes plunged following his decision to contest against Sonia Gandhi for the post of party president in 2000.
According to BJP sources, Jitin Prasada’s joining would help the BJP keep Brahmins, a section of whom are said to be unhappy with the party in Uttar Pradesh, in good humour in the politically most important state of India.
Jitin Prasada was part of the group of 23 leaders who had written to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi last October seeking organisational overhaul and elections at all levels, triggering a storm in the party.
Speculation was rife even during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections of Prasada joining the BJP, but it is believed that the Congress leadership had then managed to persuade him against quitting the party.