Gandhi family loyalist Tom Vadakkan joins BJP
New Delhi: In a jolt to the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Tom Vadakkan, its spokesperson and until now a Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist, on Thursday joined the BJP complaining about “dynastic politics”.
The announcement came on a day Congress president Rahul Gandhi was in Kerala, to which Vadakkan belongs.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told the media that Vadakkan had been impressed by the work done by the Modi government.
Vadakkan said on Thursday that he was deeply hurt over the way the Congress raised questions in the aftermath of the suicide bombing at Pulwama that killed 40 CRPF personnel and triggered major India-Pakistan tensions.
“I gave my prime of life to the Congress. But dynastic politics is now at its zenith in the party… There’s no place in it for self-respecting people,” he said.
Vadakkan has tried unsuccessfully in the past for Congress ticket in Lok Sabha elections.
With the BJP seeking to make inroads in Kerala, Prasad noted that Vadakkan was from the “Roman Catholic family” — an oblique reference to Sonia Gandhi’s Christian origins.
Vadakkan has handled the crucial communications department for many years when Sonia Gandhi was the Congress president. He was later appointed an AICC secretary and then became a spokesperson.
Sonia Gandhi has been the longest serving Congress chief and most media queries about her meetings and engagements during the UPA regime were handled by Vadakkan.
After being appointed spokesperson in March 2015, Vadakkan passionately articulated the party’s viewpoint and slammed the Modi government.
Vadakkan, who hails from Thrissur, could be fielded by the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections from Kerala.