Sonia Gandhi's close aide Tom Vadakkan joins BJP, lauds PM Narendra Modi's leadership

Vadakkan was formally inducted into the saffron party in the presence of Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Sonia Gandhi's close aide Tom Vadakkan joins BJP, lauds PM Narendra Modi's leadership

New Delhi: In a big setback for Rahul Gandhi-led Congress party, its senior leader Tom Vadakkan on Thursday joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha election 2019.

Vadakkan was formally inducted into the saffron party in the presence of Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and other top BJP leaders.

Soon after joining BJP, Vadakkan attacked his former party for its ''sad'' stand on the Pulwama terror attack and India's retaliatory strikes.

"I am deeply hurt when my party (Congress) of 20 years questioned the integrity of the armed forces,'' Vadakkan said.

 

"I left the party with a heavy heart. This is against the national interest and I have left the party on a sad note," Tom Vadakkan said in a brief press conference in the national capital.

“If some political party that takes a position against the country, then I do not have an option but to leave that party… This is not right,” he said, citing the Congress’s stance on the Balakot air strike against terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Pakistan that followed the Pulwama suicide bombing.

Vadakkan also slammed the Congress party over its dynasty politics. He said that he was "hurt" at the situation within the Congress where it was not clear that who was the power centre.

While maintaining that the Congress' reaction to attacks carried out by Pakistan-based terrorists was sad, he said that he firmly believed in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's development narrative.

He also hailed the leadership of PM Narendra Modi and thanked him and the BJP chief Amit Shah for accepting him in the saffron party fold.

''I want to thank the PM and the BJP president for accepting my primary membership of the party and wishing me good luck,'' he added.

He had earlier served as Sonia Gandhi's secretary.