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Cong Spokesperson Tom Vadakkan joins BJP; says 'hurt' over party's stand post-Pulwama strike

Friday, March 15, 2019

New Delhi: In an embarrassment to the Congress, Tom Vadakkan, once seen as a key aide of Sonia Gandhi, joined the BJP on Thursday, saying he was "deeply hurt" over the opposition party's stand post-Pulwama terror strike, and that his decision was "not about ideology but patriotism".

Jolted by the surprise announcement, the Congress was quick to dismiss Vadakkan's criticism of the party saying that till now he used to "abuse" Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and hoped that all his "desires may be fulfilled" in the BJP.

Vadakkan, who joined the saffron party in the presence of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and later met its president Amit Shah, said, "I am deeply hurt and that is why I am here."

Claiming that the Congress questioned the integrity of the armed forces, he said, "the attack by Pakistani terrorists on our land and the reaction by my party was sad indeed. It hurt me deeply when the integrity of armed forces was questioned. That is precisely the reason why I am here. It is not about ideology but about patriotism."

"If a party takes a position which is against the country then I had no other option but to leave it," the 60 year old leader told reporters after joining the BJP.

In an apparent attack on Rahul Gandhi for his leadership skills, Vadakkan said he has served the party for two decades but it has now resorted to a practise of "use and throw" which is not acceptable to a self-respecting worker. Criticising the Congress, the leader from Kerala said dynastic politics has reached its zenith and the party workers dont know whom to listen to and who is the "power centre".

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