Harish Meena, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Rajasthan’s Dausa, joined the Congress in the presence of senior party leaders, including Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Harish Meena, a former IPS officer and ex-Rajasthan DGP, had joined the BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
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Congress leader and Sapotara MLA Ramesh Meena said though his party had given a lot to the family of Namonarain Meena, his brother Harish Meena joined the BJP in 2014, adding that Harish Meena has returned home. He claimed that a few more BJP rebel leaders would join the Congress.
Reacting to the move, Rajasthan BJP leader Kirori Lal Meena said Harish Meena's joining the opposition party will have no impact on tribal votes in Dausa and its nearby regions in the state polls next month.
Rajasthan will go to the assembly polls on December 7.
The former director general of police Gehlot's tenure, Harish Meena, was fielded by the BJP against his brother Namonarain Meena in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the Dausa constituency.
Harish won the seat by defeating his nearest rival Kirori Lal Meena, who was then a candidate of the National People's Party, by a margin of 45,404 votes. Namonarain came third in the result.
"Both, I and Sachin Pilot will fight the Rajasthan assembly elections," Gehlot said in a press conference in Delhi with Pilot sitting by his side.
With the announcement, the suspense on the name of the Congress party’s chief ministerial face has deepened as both Gehlot and Pilot are claimants for the top job. The Rajasthan Congress is reportedly divided between two factions - loyalists of Gehlot and Pilot.
"On Congress president Rahul Gandhi's instruction and on Gehlotji's request, I have decided to contest the Assembly elections. We all will together ensure a massive victory for the Congress in the upcoming polls," Pilot added.
(With PTI inputs)