In what has become a shocking switchover for the BJP ahead of the crucial polls in Gujarat, former BJP Minister Jay Narayan Vyas has joined the Congress party. Vyas left the BJP earlier this month and joined the opposition Congress on Monday - November 28 in the presence of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge in Ahmedabad.
75-year-old Jay Narayan Vyas was also welcomed to the Congress party by Rajasthan Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Ashok Gehlot. Notably, Vyas joined the Congress along with his son Samir Vyas. He parted ways with BJP by citing personal reasons and after joining the Congress party, Jay Narayan Vyas commended Rahul Gandhi and the Congress for the party's internal democracy.
According to PTI, Vyas said, "One feels sad to leave the house where he remained for 32 years. But, I saw a large banyan tree was expanding there (in BJP) and you know nothing grows under the banyan tree." He further said that the BJP's decisions to change Gujarat Chief Ministers over the last few years and to reshuffle the entire cabinet in 2021 was not in the interest of the state.
He stated, "If Gujarat is run by leaders who do not care even when removed from the ministry, then this is not in the interest of Gujarat. Those who care about the interest of Gujarat should speak up." Vyas has divulged that he has followed the Bharat Jodo Yatra and Rahul Gandhi is a leader not only of the Congress but everybody who thinks of himself as an Indian and believes in democracy.
He further said, "I felt this party does not say things keeping a person at the centre, but where even the presidents are selected (through a democratic process) and only one name is not used for the post. Only the Congress functionaries decide who should be the leader, and no external factor like the Sangh is involved." He expressed his commitment towards the national interest and said he will fulfil whatever responsibilities the party gives him.
Jay Narayan Vyas was an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and he served as the minister of health and family welfare in the Gujarat BJP government between 2007 and 2012 when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister. He contested in the 2012 and 2017 polls in the BJP ticket but lost both the races. Now, ahead of the Gujarat assembly polls, Vyas has joined the Congress party. Gujarat is heading for the polls on December 1 and 5 for its 182 seats. The votes will be counted and the results will be declared on December 8.