Deepak Joshi (60), a former BJP minister and the son of ex-Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister late Kailash Joshi, will join the Congress after May 6.
It would be a major setback for the ruling BJP ahead of the Assembly polls scheduled later this year.
Confirming his latest move while talking to IANS on Monday, Joshi said, "Yes, I am quitting my long association with the BJP. It was hard to take this decision as my father was one of the pioneering leaders who established the party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh, and also served as the Chief Minister. I have been asked to give a particular date, so I have told the Congress leadership that I would be available in Bhopal after May 6."
Joshi joining the Congress will be a big jolt for the ruling BJP ahead of the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh. He made this announcement around two weeks after a team of 14 state BJP leaders were tasked to convince the rebellions to stay put in the party.
On April 13, IANS had reported that Joshi had a closed-door meeting with top Congress leaders.
The former minister was sidelined from the party after he lost the elections in 2018. He was also overlooked after he raised his voice against corruption in the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in Dewas district.
"Whenever I raised this matter before, some leaders from my own party (BJP) accused me of playing politics and raising voice against the BJP government. But I kept raising this matter because my father won elections from the Bagli constituency eight times, and the people there have faith in us. At present, this constituency is reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) but people still come to me whenever they have any problem," Joshi said.
Getting no response from the state BJP leadership on his complaint, Joshi had then written to the party's Central leadership, following which the Lokayukta of Madhya Pradesh in December last year booked 45 officials and employees in different departments for allegedly misusing the funds meant for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in Dewas district.
A police investigation had revealed that the nexus had been operating for the past few years, embezzling several crores of rupees by creating fake bills.
Joshi, who won three Assembly polls from Bagli (2003, 2008) and Hathpipalia (2013), also served as the Minister of Technical Education and Skill Development, and of School Education in Shivraj Singh Chouhan's cabinet.
His father Kailash Joshi was the ninth Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh who served from June 24, 1977 to January 18, 1978 when he was a member of the Janata Party. He died on November 24, 2019. --IANS pd/arm
( 464 Words)