Following Congress leader Jitin Prasada’s high-powered deflection from the party, Twitter was inundated with reactions from both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as the Congress party.
While the former welcomed the politician to their camp, the reaction of the Congress leaders ranged from disdain for Prasada's choice to disappointment at his exit.
BJP Leaders Welcome Prasada, Some Deride Congress
Prasada, who worked as an INC functionary for three decades and was a close aide of Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, is not the first top Congress leader to exit the party. Last year, Jyotiraditya Scindia had left Congress to join the BJP.
Reacting to the development, Scindia on his part said:
“He is like my younger brother, and I welcome him to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). I congratulate him.”
While some, ranging from Party president JP Nadda to Delhi BJP’s vice president Barkha Shukla Singh, congratulated Prasada on the move, Assam’s Chief Minister Himanta Biswas Sharma mocked the Congress over the recent exits, and cast aspersions on its party leaders.
The BJP National Secretary Sunil V Deodhar also took to the social media platform, and ushered Prasada into the party by saying that his “experience and connect will further strengthen the BJP in the coming days.”
Meanwhile, Himanta Biswas Sarma wrote on Twitter: “They say Modi ji is intolerant. Then why so many senior Congress leaders are abandoning the “tolerant” Gandhi family and wanting to work with Modiji?”
In an evident attack targeted towards the INC, he added, “The wrecked and rudderless ‘Titanic’ continues to sink!’’
‘Unfortunate’: Congress Leaders React
Several INC leaders, including Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge and Sachin Pilot, expressed dismay over Prasada’s decision, even as party leaders from Congress’ grassroots organisation, Sevadal, reacted to the news with harsh words.
“Jaane wale jaate rehte hain, we can’t stop them. It was his decision, he also had a future here (Congress Party). However, it is unfortunate.”Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge, according to ANI
"It's very, very sad that Jitin Prasada has quit the Congress," said Sachin Pilot to NDTV.
Writing in Hindi, Chief Organiser of Congress Sevadal Lalji Desai expressed anger on Twitter, referring to Prasad’s move as a “betrayal.”
“Was he on BJP's payroll in Bengal elections? The party which gave you everything, the leadership believed in you and you betrayed? Wearing the strap of the same party you had ideological differences with, for your personal selfishness? It is a shameful thing.”
The Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress tweeted a vague comment on the day of the induction and wrote Ahsan Farahmosh (ungrateful) on Twitter.
Congress MLA Aditi Singh urged the party to introspect, exhibiting discontent with the Congress and told ANI: “It is a big loss for Congress and the party should introspect why senior leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Jitin Prasada are leaving. Congress is becoming one family's party. His (Jatin) future will be bright in BJP.”
The exit of the prominent state politician came on Wednesday, 9 June, ahead of the major Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections early next year.
Prasada had met Home Minister Amit Shah before the switch. He joined the party at the BJP headquarters in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal. Later, he went to meet BJP President JP Nadda.
At his induction, he had said, “The reason why I decided to join the BJP is because I believe it is the only national political party with a strong organisational structure in the country. Other parties are regional but this is a national party. I hope to serve the people under the strong leadership of Narendra Modi.”
He had further said that he was unable to protect the interests of the people or work for them while being in the Congress.