Ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, former Union minister Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh on Tuesday resigned from the Congress. He is likely to join the BJP at 3 pm today.
Taking to Twitter, RPN Singh shared his resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. “Today, at a time, we are celebrating the formation of our great Republic, I begin a new chapter in my political journey. Jai Hind,” he said in a tweet.
RPN Singh, 57, was the Congress’ Jharkhand in-charge. Reports suggest that he might be fielded against senior backward caste leader Swami Prasad Maurya from the Padrauna seat in Kushinagar.
Former Cabinet minister of Yogi Adityanath’s BJP government in UP, Maurya recently joined the Samajwadi Party.
On Twitter, RPN Singh removed Congress from his bio and changed it to: “My motto India,First, Always”.
Hailing from the royal Sainthwar family of Kushinagar, Singh has been a three time MLA from Padrauna — 1996, 2002 and 2007.
Considered close to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Singh is learnt to have started leaning towards the BJP at the insistence of Jyotiraditya Scindia, who defected to the saffron camp in March 2020, less than a year after he suffered a defeat in his traditional Guna seat in Madhya Pradesh in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In June 2020, Scindia got elected to Rajya Sabha as a BJP nominee.
Singh got elected to Lok Sabha from Kushinagar in 2009 and was appointed as union minister of state for road, transport and highways in the Congress led UPA government. In January 18, 2011, his portfolio was changed to petroleum, natural gas and corporate affairs. He subsequently got the charge of junior minister in the home ministry.
(With inputs from agencies)