New Delhi: Former UPA minister and Congress leader Krishna Tirath on Monday officially joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls in the national capital, vowing to continue her work towards the upliftment of the oppressed.
Addressing a press conference, BJP Delhi unit chief Sathish Upadhyay said, “Tirath is welcome in the party.”
BJP's national secretary Shrikant Sharma added, "Leaders of other parties are inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's agenda of development and want to see Delhi develop as a world-class city and that is why they are joining BJP."
Shortly after joining the party, Tirath told reporters, “Energy shouldn't be wasted, I am here to work for people's well-being.”
She added,“Hum Congress-mukt bharat banayenge, hum mahilaon ko, naujawano ko aage badhyanege, Dalit ko unka adhikaar denge.”
"Whatever work I have done, whether for the city or for the country, whatever post I have held, I have always had only one aim: how to be of service to the oppressed. And, I have never held back from doing so," Tirath told the media, while accepting a BJP scarf from Satish Upadhyay.
"I thought at great length about the discipline that the BJP has, and finally I decided to move to further help with the upliftment of the oppressed. The BJP has always thought of the upliftment of the oppressed and I will give my best efforts in doing so," she added.
Tirath is third high-profile woman leader after former top cop Kiran Bedi and ex-AAP leader Shazia Ilmi to join the BJP.
According to reports, Tirath's entry into BJP is viewed as an attempt by the party to woo Dalit voters in the national capital.
Before officially joining the party, Tirath, who served as women, child and development minister in the UPA Cabinet, met BJP chief Amit Shah.
According to media reports, a disgruntled Tirath had earlier sought a Congress Party ticket for one of her children to contest in the Delhi state assembly elections, but the central leadership of the party rejected the request.
Till now, she was representing the North West Delhi constituency of Delhi as a member of the Indian National Congress (INC).
Tirath was earlier a member of the Delhi Assembly and a Minister in the Shiela Dikshit-led Delhi government having portfolios of Social Welfare, SC & ST and Labour & Employment.
She has been a former Deputy Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly and a former Chairperson of Delhi Scheduled Castes Financial and Development Corporation (DSFDC) Tirath was the North West Delhi MP since 2004 and has been Minister of State (Independent Charge) Women and Child Development in the previous UPA government.
Last week, the Election Commission sounded the poll bigul in Delhi. Voting for Delhi Assembly Elections 2015 would be held in a single phase on February 7 with the counting of votes scheduled for February 10.
In the 2013 Delhi elections, BJP bagged 31 seats, AAP 28 and Congress 8 in the 70-member Assembly.
Delhi has 12 reserved seats of which a majority were won by the AAP in the last assembly polls in 2013, with BJP winning only two while Congress got one.
(With Agency inputs)