Congress President Rahul Gandhi today dismissed the exit of Tom Vadakkan who joined the BJP, saying, he is "not a big leader." Responding to reporters in Chhattisgarh's Raipur, Mr Gandhi said, "Vadakkan? No, no Vadakkan is not a big leader."
In a major surprise, the former Congress spokesperson and once a close aide of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Tom Vadakkan joined the BJP on Thursday, in the presence of union minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Immediately after joining the BJP, Mr Vadakkan said that he was "hurt" at the situation within the Congress. It was not clear who was the power centre, he said. Mr Vadakkan further said that the Congress' reaction to air strikes on a terror camp in Pakistan's Balakot was "painful". Now he believed in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's development narrative, said the newest BJP leader.
In a bid to hide the apparent embarrassment, the Congress yesterday dismissed Mr Vadakkan's criticism and slammed him for his change of stand saying that till recently he used to "abuse" the Prime Minister.
"Our best wishes to him," Congress' chief spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala said when asked about Mr Vadakkan joining the BJP. When asked about Mr Vadakkan citing dynastic politics and the Congress' stand on India's retaliatory strikes after Pulwama attack, Mr Surjewala said that every person, who leaves a party to join another party "searching for a better future", has to say something. "Till now he used to abuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi, so what is the opinion of Modi ji and Ravi Shankar ji on that," he said.