The Congress in Chhattisgarh received a major boost after the BJP’s tribal face in the state, Nand Kumar Sai, joined the party a day after quitting the BJP. The state, ruled by the Congress, is due for the Assembly elections this year-end.
Addressing the media, Sai said it was a “tough decision to quit the BJP”. He said it was no longer the party of “Atalji and Advaniji”.
Sai had resigned saying his colleagues in the BJP were out to tarnish his image. The BJP tried its best to convince the 77-year-old former Chhattisgarh state party president to stay. He was associated with the BJP since its inception in 1980 and was known to be a staunch advocate of Hindutva.
Sai has been vocal against conversion of tribals and
has influence in the neighbouring areas of Madhya Pradesh, having headed the Madhya Pradesh BJP unit for a time.
Speaking with the media after he joined the Congress, Sai said, “I have worked with all the big leaders, from Atalji to Sushma Swarajji. I felt very bad leaving, but the BJP is no longer the same.”
Warning the BJP not to take him lightly, Sai said in 2003, he had helped topple the Ajit Jogi-led Congress government. “I should have been made the CM, but I was sidelined… I do not want to name the ones who plotted against me. I had hinted at this at a press conference and said issues were being created and our party needs to talk. But nothing happened,” he said.