Cong’s Loss, BJP’s Gain: Scindia, Amarinder, Now Anil Antony, Leaders Who Left ‘Sinking Ship’ for ‘Lotus’

New Delhi: Anil Antony, son of Congress veteran and former defence minister AK Antony, joins the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Union Minister and senior party leader Piyush Goyal, in New Delhi, Thursday, April 6, 2023. (PTI Photo/Arun Sharma)

After dismal performances of Congress in Lok Sabha and Assembly polls since 2019, several party leaders switched sides and the resignation spree is likely to continue till the next general elections

Congress veteran and former defence minister AK Antony’s son Anil Antony on Thursday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), joining a league of leaders who switched allegiance in recent times for better opportunities and positions.

Anil Antony quit Congress on January 25, a day after facing criticism from the party for taking a jibe at BBC on its documentary against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“This has been a very decisive decision in my life….. A few months back, I quit Congress because there was a difference of opinion regarding a documentary, which I believe was a hit on our sovereignty and integrity,” Anil told ANI.

After dismal performances in Lok Sabha and Assembly polls since 2019, several Congress leaders have left the grand-old-party and the resignation spree is likely to continue till the next general elections.

Here’s a list of Congress leaders who joined the party’s arch-rivals BJP:

Amarinder Singh

Scion of the erstwhile Patiala royal family, Amarinder Singh quit Congress in November 2021 after his unceremonious exit as chief minister. Later, the two-time former chief minister floated Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) for the state Assembly elections. The PLC contested the elections in alliance with the BJP and the Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa-led Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyuk). However, none of its candidates could register a win, with Singh himself losing from his home turf of Patiala Urban. Singh joined the BJP in September 2022 and merged the PLC with the BJP. He was also named the BJP’s national executive.

Sunil Jakhar

Jakhar was removed from all Congress posts after the Punjab Assembly elections for two years on the recommendation of the disciplinary action committee. In May 2022, he joined the BJP and was later named the party’s national executive.

Jyotiraditya Scindia

Jyotiraditya Scindia, who helped the Congress to return to power in Madhya Pradesh in 2018, ended his 18 years of association with the party and resigned in March 2020 over his fights with the party leadership in the state. At least 20 MLAs loyal to Scindia quit their assembly membership which resulted in the collapse of the Kamal Nath government.

Later, Scindia joined the BJP and was also elected to the Rajya Sabha. After the Cabinet reshuffle in 2021, he was inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet. He was given the portfolio of Civil Aviation Minister, a position his father and late Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia also held from 1991 to 1993.

Hardik Patel

Hardik Patel emerged as a face of 2015 Patidar quota protests and was even projected as the future of Gujarat politics by some political pundits. However, after the protest, he could not gather a massive crowd for a large-scale protest again and remained in the political wilderness since then. He joined the Congress in 2019 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections but failed to make any difference for his party as the BJP swept all parliamentary seats in Gujarat.

Jitin Prasada

Jitin Prasada was a prominent Brahmin face of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh. Having started his career with the Youth Congress, Prasada was elected to Lok Sabha in 2004 for the first time. He was a minister during the UPA regime at the Centre. Congress appointed him as in-charge of 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections. However, the party faced humiliating defeat in West Bengal. In June 2021, Prasada joined the BJP and became part of Yogi Adityanath Cabinet.

Jaiveer Shergill

Former Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill was appointed as the national spokesperson of BJP last year after he quit the party posts or the party’s primary membership following a scathing letter to Sonia Gandhi accusing “self-serving interests of individuals indulging in sycophancy and consistently ignoring ground reality”. Shergill was reportedly not allowed to hold party’s press conferences for the last several months for Congress before he left the party.

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