NEW DELHI: Political leaders switching their loyalties in election season is common as disgruntled elements in various parties start looking for greener pastures. But veteran Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan joining the BJP came as a big surprise —jolt to the Grand Old Party — as he was known to be a long-time loyalist of the Gandhi family.
Vadakkan said he took the decision because he was upset over the way the Congress reacted after the Pulwama attack. Slamming the dynastic politics practiced by the party, he said, “It is not acceptable... There’s no place in it for self-respecting people.” He said he had given his prime years to the Congress.
Though Vadakkan was not a heavyweight, he was considered as one of the few loyalists in the Congress. He was part of the first media committee set up by Sonia Gandhi in the late 1990s when she became the party president. Sources said Vadakkan had been keen on a ticket to contest elections and the BJP is likely to have promised him one.
Influential Trinamool Congress lawmaker Arjun Singh also joined the saffron ranks. He, too, attributed his decision to TMC chief Mamata Banerjee questioning India’s air strike on Balakot.
Singh joined the BJP in the presence of senior party leaders, including Kailash Vijayvargiya, in New Delhi. Earlier, he had a long meeting with BJP leader Mukul Roy in Delhi. “I worked for the last 40 years under Mamata ji. But I was extremely disappointed when she questioned the credibility of the Indian Army after the Balakot strike. When the entire country was speaking in one voice...she was questioning the intention of the PM,” he said.