Uttarakhand: Aam Aadmi Party’s CM candidate Ajay Kothiyal joins BJP


Col (Retd) Ajay Kothiyal, who joined the party in the presence of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, said that joining BJP is like rectifying a mistake. Kothiyal, who was the chief ministerial face of the Aam Aadmi Party in the last assembly elections, was forfeited.

Ajay Kothiyal taking membership of BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. (Photo Credits: Twitter / Madan Kaushik)

Dehradun: Colonel (Retd) Ajay Kothiyal, who was Aam Aadmi Party’s chief ministerial candidate in the February assembly elections in Uttarakhand, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday.

Colonel Kothiyal resigned from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on 18 May. He joined the party in the presence of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and BJP state unit chief Madan Kaushik.

Former working president of AAP’s state unit Bhupesh Upadhyay also joined the BJP along with Kothiyal and hundreds of his supporters.

Dhami said that being the son of a soldier, he was happy to welcome an ex-serviceman to the party. The Chief Minister said, ‘I have always felt that Kothiyal’s nature and AAP’s ideology are not in harmony with each other. BJP is Kothiyal’s party as it is the only party which is honoring soldiers under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

At the same time, Kothiyal said that joining AAP was a wrong and emotional decision taken by him. He said, “Joining the BJP is like rectifying a mistake. It is wise to realize the mistake and correct it before it is too late.

This time AAP had fielded its candidates in all the 70 assembly seats in Uttarakhand and had also promised many election gifts.

However, despite performing well in Punjab, AAP’s account did not even open in Uttarakhand and AAP’s chief ministerial candidate Kothiyal lost his deposit in Gangotri assembly seat.

Along with Kothiyal, former working president of the party’s state unit Bhupesh Upadhyay also resigned from the party last week.

Upadhyay, who joined the party as a member on August 24, 2021, cited disillusionment with the party’s ideology as the reason for his resignation. In a letter to Kejriwal, Upadhyay said, “After becoming the working president of AAP, I realized that it is far from ideology and style of functioning.”

He also termed the party’s current in-charge and co-in-charge for Uttarakhand as an “imposition” on the party and accused them of running it as “agents of the East India Company” to achieve their goals.

Senior leader Jot Singh Bisht, who recently left the Congress and joined AAP, had described Col Kothiyal’s decision to leave the party as a personal one.

AAP’s state unit coordinator Bisht said, “He (Kothiyal) is one of the senior most leaders of the party. His decision to resign is a personal one, as he has not given any reason for the same. Our best wishes are with him for his bright future.

In August last year, while announcing Kothiyal’s name as AAP’s chief ministerial candidate, Kejriwal had said the decision to choose the former army officer as the party’s chief ministerial face was based on the feedback received from the people of the state.

(with input from news agency language)

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