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Udit Raj Joins Congress After Being Denied Ticket from North West Delhi, Says Will Snatch 10-15 Seats From BJP

The BJP on Tuesday picked singer Hans Raj Hans as its candidate for North West Delhi, snubbing Udit Raj who had threatened to leave the party if dropped.


Updated:April 24, 2019, 11:39 PM IST

New Delhi: After being denied a ticket from BJP, miffed leader Udit Raj joined the Congress party on Wednesday in the presence of party chief Rahul Gandhi.

The BJP on Tuesday picked singer Hans Raj Hans as its candidate for North West Delhi, snubbing Udit Raj who had threatened to leave the party if dropped.

The official Twitter handle of Congress Wednesday morning posted a picture of Raj with Gandhi, officially welcoming the leader to the party fold. Soon after, Raj removed the 'Chowkidar' prefixed to his Twitter name.

Raj said that he feels relieved after joining the grand old party. "I was one of the best performing MPs for BJP, I was a popular figure. But I was accused of influencing Dalits," he said, as he went on to accuse the saffron party of not respecting Dalits. "I will snatch at least 10-15 seats from BJP now," he added, "BJP is an anti-Dalit group which uses internal surveys to choose its candidate."

"Had I not raised my voice for Dalits, I would've been made the Prime Minister," Raj alleged.

Hours before Hans was announced as the BJP candidate, Udit Raj had in a tweet threatened to bid "goodbye to the party" if not given the ticket again.

He had merged his Indian Justice Party with the BJP in February 2014 and later won the election from North West Delhi. The BJP won all seven seats in Delhi in the 2014 election.

Soon after Hans’ candidature was announced, Raj told News18 that, in hindsight, he regrets his decision of merging with the saffron party. Asked if he is going to quit the party, Raj said, “I am not quitting the party, but the party has quit me. I am being forced to leave the party.”

The disgruntled leader added that he had been admonished by several political leaders in the past about the consequences of being associated with the BJP. “Four months ago, Kejriwal had warned me saying I won’t be getting the ticket. On two occasions, Rahul Gandhi said to me, suggesting in a way, that I am a right person in a wrong party,” he said.

Raj, however, at that time did not confirm if he is in talks with the Congress.

“I spoke in favour of the oppressed, that is why I have been denied the ticket. I am the fiercest voice on Dalits –I am neither deaf nor dumb. I could either fear the repercussions of speaking for the oppressed or be part of the mission,” he added.

The BJP MP has been a vocal supporter of Dalit rights and had often taken views contrary to the party line, including on Sabarimala and 'Bharat Bandh' called by Dalit organisations last year. Earlier this month, he was at the centre of controversy after being caught in a sting done on several MPs, which purportedly showed lawmakers accepting use of black money for contesting polls.

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| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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