In a setback to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh ahead of the state Assembly elections, senior leader and former minister Deepak Joshi joined the Opposition Congress on Saturday.
Deepak Joshi, the son of former Chief Minister late Kailash Joshi, joined the Congress in the presence of the party’s state chief Kamal Nath at the party’s state headquarters here.
The three-time MLA accused the state’s BJP government of ignoring the legacy of his late father Kailash Joshi.
Deepak Joshi, aged around 60 years, entered the Assembly for the first time from Bagli in Dewas district in 2003 and later successfully contested twice (in 2008 and 2013) from the Hatpiplya seat in the same district.
After his third election victory, Joshi joined Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhans cabinet and remained its member till 2018.
The BJP leader lost the Assembly election in 2018 from Hatpiplya to Congress candidate Manoj Choudhary, who went on to join the BJP in 2020 and won again from Hatpiplya in a subsequent bypoll.
Choudhary and more than 20 other MLAs loyal to then-Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, now union civil aviation minister, rocked the Congress boat in March 2020, which led to the fall of the Kamal Nath government and paved the way for the BJP’s return to power in the state.
According to sources, Deepak Joshi has remained largely sidelined in the saffron outfit since then.
The state assembly election in Madhya Pradesh is due later this year.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)