Blow to Congress as former Union minister Suresh Pachouri, ex-MP Rajukhedi among leaders who join BJP


In a jolt to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, senior leader and former Union minister Suresh Pachouri, ex-MP Gajendra Singh Rajukhedi and several others, including the party’s former MLAs, joined the BJP in Bhopal on Saturday.

Mr. Pachouri, Mr. Rajukhedi and other leaders joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav, State BJP president V. D. Sharma and former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan at the party’s State headquarters in the morning.

Former MLAs Sanjay Shukla, Arjun Paliya, Vishal Patel were among the leaders of the grand old party who also joined the ruling outfit.

Mr. Pachouri, who was close to the Gandhi family, was Union minister of state for defence (defence production and supplies), and also served as a four-time Rajya Sabha member of the grand old party.

Mr. Pachouri had earlier held several key positions in the Congress, including the post of the party’s Madhya Pradesh unit president. He was also the state unit president of the Youth Congress.

Mr. Rajukhedi, a prominent tribal leader, was elected as an MP from Dhar (Scheduled Tribes) Lok Sabha seat on the Congress ticket for three terms – 1998, 1999 and 2009. Before joining the Congress, he was elected as a BJP MLA in 1990.

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