Colonel (retired) Ajay Kothiyal joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday. He was Aam Aadmi Party’s chief ministerial candidate for the 2022 Uttarakhand Assembly elections.

Kothiyal was inducted into the BJP by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in Dehradun.

Many of Kothiyal’s supporters also joined the BJP in the presence of party leader Madan Kaushik.

Kothiyal had resigned from the Aam Aadmi Party on May 18.

“I have been a member of the Aam Aadmi Party from April 19, 2021, to May 18, 2022,” Kothiyal wrote in his resignation letter to party chief Arvind Kejriwal. “Keeping the feelings of ex-soldiers, ex para-military personnel, the elders, women, youths and the intellectuals, I am sending you my resignation.”

Kothiyal was named the chief ministerial candidate by the Aam Aadmi Party for the 2022 Uttarakhand Assembly elections on August 17. The retired colonel had received praise for his relief work during the 2013 Kedarnath flash floods in the state.

Kejriwal had said the decision to pick the former army officer as the chief ministerial face was based on the feedback received from the voters of the state.

The party did not win any seats in the 70-member Assembly. BJP won the polls, bagged 47 seats in the 70-member Assembly.