In another blow to Congress, which is struggling to keep its house in order ahead of Assembly elections, Congress heavyweight and former cabinet minister RPN Singh could soon switch to the BJP, sources have told News18.
Singh, the party’s Jharkhand official, was sidelined from Congress and fell off the Gandhis’ radar. He lost the UP’s last Padrauna elections and sources say he is likely to be lined up from the same seat against SP’s Swami Prasad Maurya, who recently quit the BJP.
A descendant of the Sainthwar royal family of Kushinagar, RPN Singh was a Congress Party loyalist. He was MP for Padrauna Constituency in Uttar Pradesh, like his late father CPN Singh, between 1996 and 2009, after which he was elected MP for the constituency in the 15th Lok Sabha election. In the 16th Lok Sabha election, he lost to BJP’s Rajesh Pandey. Under Congress he also served as Minister of State for Home Affairs.
The leader’s departure, if it happens, will also be a setback to the efforts of UP leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is leading the campaign in the state.
Earlier, the Congress lost another big name from the UP, Jitin Prasada, who joined the BJP and was also sworn in as a minister in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet.
A popular Brahmin face, Prasada was also part of the G-23 congressional group that wrote a letter registering his dissent with the party leadership.
Considered close to Rahul Gandhi, Prasada in 2019 denied rumors of being upset with the Congress leadership and moving to the BJP. He was the second leader close to Gandhi after Jyotiraditya Scindia to move to the BJP.
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