Uttarakhand's former Cabinet minister Harak Singh Rawat joined the Congress party on Friday, 21 January. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttarakhand on Sunday night, 16 January, had expelled Rawat from the party for six years, citing indiscipline.
"When Congress wins with a full majority on 10 March, that'll be my apology. BJP thought of me as a 'use and throw', I was very upset. I didn't break my friendship with HM Amit Shah till the last moment, as I had promised," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Post his dismissal from the state Cabinet, as well as expulsion from the Bharatiya Janata Party by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, Rawat had said on Monday, 17 January, "I will work selflessly for Congress party in Uttarakhand. Congress party will form government in Uttarakhand."
"Party decided to induct him (Harak Singh) and we all stand with the decision of the party. Party takes a collective decision and I am a part of it. Everybody should welcome it," Uttarakhand BJP leader Harish Rawat was quoted as saying by ANI later on Friday.
'BJP Didn't Talk to Me Once Before Taking Such a Big Step'
Rawat was also quoted by ANI as saying that BJP did not talk to him once before "taking such a big decision", and he had gone to Delhi to meet Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, but as soon as he reached, he discovered through social media that the BJP had expelled him.
He also said that he would have resigned from the party four years ago if he had not left the Congress to join them.
However, in a statement on Monday, former Uttarakhand CM and Congress leader Harish Rawat dispelled these speculations saying that the leader has 'not joined the party yet'.
He added that Congress would consider 'several angles' before deciding on the matter.
"If he (expelled Uttarakhand BJP Minister Harak Singh) will accept his mistake of leaving the Congress party, then we're ready to welcome him," the former CM added.
Meanwhile, Pushkar Singh Dhami had accused Rawat of putting pressure on the party for tickets for his family members.
In December, Rawat had angrily left a Cabinet meeting in protest against alleged "government inaction" over a suggested medical college in his constituency. It had also been reported that Rawat had threatened to resign.
However, Umesh Sharma Kau, another BJP MLA of the Uttarakhand government, had subsequently said that Rawat's grievance had been addressed and dismissed the rumours of his resignation. Moreover, Union Home Minister Amit Shah was reportedly involved in peacemaking.
Rawat is an MLA from the constituency of Kotdwar and was the Minister for Forest, Environment, Labour and Employment.
The state of Uttarakhand is slated to go to the polls in one phase on 14 February.
(With inputs from ANI.)