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BJP Dausa MP Meena, Nagaur MLA join Congress

BJP Dausa MP Meena, Nagaur MLA join Congress
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In a setback to Rajasthans ruling BJP ahead of next months Assembly elections, the partys Dausa MP Harish Chandra Meena and Nagaur MLA Habibur Rahman...

New Delhi/Jaipur: In a setback to Rajasthan’s ruling BJP ahead of next month’s Assembly elections, the party’s Dausa MP Harish Chandra Meena and Nagaur MLA Habibur Rahman joined the Congress on Wednesday.

Meena, a former director general of police, joined the Congress in the presence of former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sachin Pilot and AICC’s state in-charge Avinash Pande in New Delhi. In Jaipur, BJP’s Nagaur MLA Rahman returned to the Congress after a decade in the presence Ajmer MP Raghu Sharma and other leaders at the party office.

“I am happy that Harish Meena has decided to join the Congress in such times. I welcome him in the Congress fold,” Gehlot said at a press conference about the new entrant who had served as DGP when he was chief minister.

Pilot and Gehlot said they will contest the December 7 polls for the 200-member assembly along with other senior leaders of the state. “We are all united. It is BJP’s conspiracy to spread false news that the Congress is divided,” Gehlot said.

Pilot also said the entire Rajasthan Congress was united and hoped Meena joining the party will help it throw BJP out in the state. Meena said he had joined unconditionally and would abide by the party decision on whether or not he should contest the elections. Rahman echoed him.

“I have returned home today. There is no condition for joining the party,” he said at a press conference in the Rajasthan capital. On whether he will contest the Assembly elections, Rahman rhetorically asked, “Who does not want to contest elections?”

Pilot attacked Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, saying she had betrayed the trust of the people of the state. He said the tension was evident in the BJP camp with many senior leaders sidelined and not given tickets, showing that “all is not well”.

Asked why the Congress had not declared a chief ministerial face before the elections, Gehlot said this had never been done in Rajasthan.

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