Jaipur, June 27: Former Union minister Jagdeep Dhankar today quit Congress and joined the Bhartiya Janata Party boosting saffron hopes in the crucial Jat community belt ahead of assembly polls in Rajasthan later this year.
The apex leadership of influential Jat Mahasabha, including its patron Gyan Prakash Pilania and president Raja Ram Meel, were present when Dhankar made the announcement of his joining BJP in the presence of state party chief Vasundhara Raje here at a function that was also a rare show of unity with all faction leaders putting in their appearance.
Senior BJP leaders including former deputy chief minister Hari Shankar Bhabhara, former minister Ghanshyam Tiwari and national treasurer of BJP Ram Das Agrawal, who had not taken kindly to appointment of Raje as state party chief, were present.
"I have joined BJP because Vajpayee government had enhanced India's prestige internationally and also because the party has projected a woman as chief minister of the desert state," Dhankar, a former Janata Dal leader, said.
He accused the Gehlot government of doing nothing for fulfilling Congress' poll promises in four and half years.
He also raised the issue of foreign origin of Congress president Sonia Gandhi saying people would never accept her.
Welcoming Dhankar, Raje said his entry into BJP would have good impact on popularity of the party.
"Dhankar is an asset for any one--either it be the Bar, the society or the political party he joins," said Pilania.