In a setback to the Congress ahead of the civic body polls in Uttarakhand, former chief of Congress' Dehradun unit Prithviraj Chauhan has joined the BJP.
Mr Chauhan joined the ruling BJP along with a large number of supporters at its state office in Dehradun on Friday in the presence of Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, party's Uttarakhand chief Ajay Bhatt, state minister Dhan Singh Rawat and BJP nominee for the post of Dehradun mayor Sunil Uniyal Gama.
Prominent among those who joined the party along with Mr Chauhan were former general secretary of Congress' city unit Jitendra Bhatt, its former vice president Kulbhushan Gusain and Congress Vyapar Mandal president Pankaj Mason.
After joining the BJP, Mr Chauhan said he was impressed by the chief minister's efforts to wipe out corruption.
Welcoming the Congress leaders into the party fold, the chief minister said their entry will further strengthen the party.
Pradesh BJP president Ajay Bhatt said the party's doors were always open for the right-thinking people working for public welfare.
Mr Chauhan was said to be unhappy with the Congress leadership ever since it fielded former state minister Dinesh Aggarwal for the mayoral seat in Dehradun ignoring him.
Civic body polls in Uttarakhand are slated for November 18.
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