Congress may celebrate this day as ‘black day’ in future because two big faces join BJP just in one day. Senior Congress leader and MLA Kalidas Kolambkar quit Congress in Maharashtra ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and there are possibilities that he may join the BJP. In the recent development, he had put photos of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis outside his office.
Speaking exclusively to India Today TV, Kolmabkar said, “I’m quitting the party because my work was not done. How will I face my voters and what will I tell them? I am out of Congress now and will not campaign for Congress candidate. It’s a matter of time and I will let you know when I join.”
Kolambkar who is a seven-time MLA from Naigaon constituency in south-central Mumbai was working alongside Shiv Sena and then moved to Congress with Narayan Rane. This decision comes after Sujay Vikhe Patil who is the son of senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil joined BJP.
It is a major setback for Congress and it was not at all pleased with Kolambkar’s decision as the party called it ‘backstabbing’. Congress Spokesperson Raju Waghmare told India Today, “Backstabbing is Kolambkar’s nature. He backstabbed Shivsena to join Congress with Narayan Rane. Now he has backstabbed Rane for BJP. Tomorrow he will backstab the BJP as well.”
Another big face, senior party leader Tom Vadakkan joined the BJP on Thursday in the presence of Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Vadakkan asserted that he was upset with Congress’ approach on the Pulwama attack, in which 44 CRPF personnel lost their lives.
“It hurt me deeply when you question the integrity of the armed forces. The matter is not of ideology, this is about patriotism. If a political party takes a position against the country, I had no option but to leave the party,” Vadakkan, who has been the national spokesperson of the Congress, told the reporters.
Vadakkan is a close right-hand man of UPA chairperson and former Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Talking to media, he added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi felicitated him and wished him well. “I have worked for the Congress for 20 years. But dynastic politics has reached the zenith. A use-and-throw phenomenon has started,” he said.
Tom Vadakkan has been a substantial part of Congress’ media management team when Sonia Gandhi was the Congress chief but he lost his prominence after a new team under Rahul Gandhi took over.
In addition, Vadakkan, who has earlier expressed a wish to contest elections, hasn’t managed to do. This time too, he was not slotted to get a ticket to contest elections from Kerala and maybe this could have been the reason behind his resignation, though it is still not clear if he would be a BJP candidate from Kerala this time.
BJP state President Sreedharan Pillai told TNM that ‘Tom Vadakkan would be welcomed in the party, but he didn’t comment if Vadakkan would be contesting in the elections.
“Fielding him in the elections is something I won’t discuss now. I don’t think he has joined the party expecting a seat in the election, but it is in protest against the Congress’ stand on the Pulwama attack. The BJP will have many gains in the state,” Sreedharan Pillai told TNM.
Vadakkan, a native of Thrissur, joined the Congress in the late 1980s, qutting a corporate job to become a media consultant for Rajiv Gandhi. Even as he was a proposed candidate from Thrissur In the 2009 elections, he was not granted a ticket due to a protest mainly from the Congress.