Madhya Pradesh: Senior Congress Functionary Narendra Saluja Joins BJP In Wake Of Kamal Nath-Sikh Event Row
In a setback to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, the party's state media cell vice chairman Narendra Saluja, joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday.
This development comes amid Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra that is passing through the state.
Saluja, who is a close aide of former chief minister Kamal Nath, said he joined the BJP after questions were raised by members of the Sikh community over felicitation of MP Congress chief Kamal Nath, facing allegations in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, in Indore earlier this month.
A row had erupted after Nath was felicitated by organisers at a Sikh religious event held at Khalsa College in Indore on 8 November. After Nath left the venue, famous kirtan singer Manpreet Singh Kanpuri lashed out at the organisers for inviting the Congress leader.
MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan welcomed Saluja into the BJP fold at his official residence. Forest Minister Vijay Shah and state BJP's media cell in-charge Lokendra Parashar were present on the occasion.
Saluja said, 'I have decided to join the BJP in the wake of protests after the felicitation of Kamal Nath in Indore on 8 November, on the issue of his role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.'
'The words of noted Kirtankar Manpreet Singh Kanpuri in protest against Nath's role in the 1984 riots are still echoing in my ears since then. Therefore, I decided to join the BJP,' he said.
Congress's state media cell chairman K K Mishra, however, said Saluja was recently expelled from the party.
He also said that Saluja was removed from his post earlier as well owing to his links with the BJP, but after he apologised to Nath, he was reinstated.
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