Months ahead of Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, four Congress leaders from the two states joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday.
Former Congress MLAs in Himachal Pradesh, Pawan Kumar Kajal and Lakhvinder Singh Rana, were inducted into the Hindutva party at its headquarters in Delhi in the presence of the state’s Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
Kajal and Rana also met the BJP National President JP Nadda at his home on Wednesday afternoon.
The development came hours after the Congress stripped off Kajal and Rana from their party memberships for six years for indulging in “anti-party activities”, ANI reported.
The BJP-ruled Himachal Pradesh is scheduled to go to polls around November.
Meanwhile in Gujarat, former minister Naresh Raval and former Rajya Sabha member Raju Parmar joined the BJP on Wednesday morning. Raval and Parmar resigned from the Congress two weeks ago after being associated with the party for decades .
Parmar, 72, was Congress’ Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat for three terms between 1988 and 2006. He is seen as a prominent leader of the Dalit community.
Meanwhile, Raval had won the Assembly elections in 1985, 1990 and 1998 on a Congress ticket. He has also served as a minister during the Congress regime in Gujarat.
BJP’s Gujarat unit chief CR Paatil inducted them into the party on Wednesday.
In June, the Congress received a jolt after Hardik Patel joined the BJP. Patel, who led the Patidar community’s agitation for reservation in education and government jobs, resigned from the Congress on May 18.
The polls in Gujarat are likely to be held in December.