In a major blow to the Congress weeks before the Delhi elections, former Union minister Krishna Tirath joined the BJP on Monday, making her the latest in a series of high-profile women to embrace the saffron party in poll-bound Delhi.
Tirath was the Minister of State for Women and Child Development in the Manmohan Singh government. Her decision to join the BJP came hours before the party is expected to release its list of candidates for the Delhi elections scheduled on February 7.
“My role in the party will be given by the party president,” said Tirath as she met Amit Shah in New Delhi. “I will work for the people. Janseva meri bhoomika rahegi (Public service will be my role),” she said.
“Opportunist leaders BJP ko hi mubaarak (Congrats to the BJP for opportunist leaders)” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. The Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said at a press conference that he had no idea about Tirath joining the BJP.
Tirath is third high-profile woman leader after Kiran Bedi and Shazia Ilmi to join the BJP. In reply to a Congress attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bedi had on Sunday called Modi the “most beautiful face of the party”.
Meanwhile, the lateral entry of former Team Anna member Kiran Bedi into the BJP has already caused considerable heartburn to a section of the Delhi BJP leaders, who refused to turn up at a tea party hosted by Bedi at her residence on Sunday.
Senior BJP leader Jagdish Mukhi, who the Aam Aadmi Party presented as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in its posters, said there was not “much consultation” with the state unit on Bedi joining the party.