Haven’t quit Cong due to any individual or post, says Jitin Prasada

New Delhi: A day after switching over to the BJP, Jitin Prasada on Thursday said he left the Congress not because of any individual or for any post, but due to its shrinking vote base and the "rising disconnect" between the party and the people of Uttar Pradesh.

Prasada, whose family had been associated with the party for three generations and who himself had served as a Union minister in the Congress-led UPA government, joined the BJP Wednesday, terming it the "only true national party" in the country.

Prasada didn't put blame on any individual within the Congress for his departure.

"I left the Congress not due to any individual or for any post. The reason I left the Congress was because there is a rising disconnect between the party and the people. And that is the reason, its vote share is shrinking in Uttar Pradesh and there is no plan to revive the party," Prasada told PTI Thursday.

He was among the group of 23 Congress leaders who had written to party president Sonia Gandhi last October seeking an organisational overhaul, triggering a storm within the party.

Claiming that he could not protect his people's interests while being in the Congress, Prasada said, he will achieve this in the BJP, which he described as the only institutionalised national party in the country.

"It (joining the BJP) was not a sudden decision," he said. "I have taken this decision after long discussions and deliberations. I want to serve people, work for them and in the BJP, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, I would be able to do that." Talking about his future plans, Prasada said he will work to strengthen the BJP and for the welfare of his state.

"Whatever I do, wherever I will be, I will work for my people, for my state Uttar Pradesh and for my country," he said.

The 47-year-old former Union minister, who comes from a well-known Brahmin family of Uttar Pradesh, has refrained from attacking the Congress leadership.

Jitin is son of Jitendra Prasada, a key Congress leader before his fortunes plunged following his decision to contest against Sonia Gandhi for the post of party president in 2000. His joining the BJP may help him politically at a time when the saffron party is working overtime to boost its ranks in preparation for the assembly polls.

Once considered close to Rahul Gandhi, a bevy of young Congress leaders, including Sachin Pilot and Milind Deora, have been reportedly unhappy with the state of affairs in their party, with some of them joining the BJP.

Tamil Nadu leader Khushbu Sundar had also quit the Congress for the saffron party.

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