The country does not happen to be of any priority for regional parties and they cannot do any good to it, former Union Minister Jitin Prasada said in Lucknow on Saturday.
Mr Prasada made the observation while addressing BJP workers and leaders in Lucknow at the party headquarters on his first visit to Lucknow after quitting Congress and joining the saffron party in a surprise move early this month.
“For regional parties, the country and the state are their second priority. These parties do not make leaders, but the leaders make them. They revolve around a particular person,” Mr Prasada told reporters at the BJP headquarters after a rousing reception by the party men.
Without taking any name, Mr Prasada hit out at the regional parties in the wake of Akhilesh Yadav, the chief of Uttar Pradesh’s main regional party, of late making consistent attacks on the ruling BJP.
Expressing happiness over joining the BJP, Mr Prasada said, “I got the opportunity to join the BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.”
“In my new political journey, I have got an opportunity today to come to all of you in my home state,” he said.
Sidelined in the Congress for a long time, former Union Minister and youth leader Jitin Prasada had joined the BJP in New Delhi on June 9.
Mr Prasada’s move has been taken as a big setback for the Congress ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
Mr Prasada was accorded a grand welcome by the BJP in Lucknow on his arrival here for the first time after joining the BJP.
Welcoming him, BJP state unit president Swatantra Dev Singh said wherever he will visit in the state, the BJP’s stature will increase.
Mr Prasada sought to assure party leaders and workers that he would work hard to ensure that the state government’s all public welfare schemes reach their targeted beneficiaries — the common people.
“My work will speak for itself,” he said.
On his decision to in the BJP, he said he took this step after proper consideration and following the wishes of the people and his supporters.
“The golden future of the country and the state is possible only under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP,” he said.
Asked about the contradiction in his consistent attack on the BJP as a Brahmin outfit patron and a BJP leader now, Mr Prasada said, “I was the patron of the Brahmin Chetna Parishad and I participated in a lot of programmes.”
“It is a non-political organization and it had no role in deciding which party the community members would vote or which party Jitin Prasada would join or be a member of,” he said.
“Their (Brahmin Chetna Parishad) discussions used to be on how to organise the Brahmin society and secure the future of the community’s youths, how to resolve cases of harassment and complaints and how to deal with them,” he said.
“I think after joining the Bharatiya Janata Party, I will be able to work more vigorously in this direction,” he said.
Praising the BJP, he said “the BJP is the only party left in the country where decisions are taken according to the workers’ sentiments. It is the only party where even an ordinary member can rise to the top.”
Mr Prasada was among the 23 Congress leaders who had written to party president Sonia Gandhi last year demanding active leadership and organizational elections in the Congress.