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In a jolt to the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Tom Vadakkan, its spokesperson and until now a Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist, on Thursday joined the BJP complaining about "dynastic politics".
Vadakkan said on Thursday that he was deeply hurt over the way the Congress raised questions in the aftermath of the suicide bombing at Pulwama that killed 40 CRPF personnel and triggered major India-Pakistan tensions.
"I gave my prime of life to the Congress. But dynastic politics is now at its zenith in the party... There's no place in it for self-respecting people," he said.
Vadakkan has tried unsuccessfully in the past for Congress ticket in Lok Sabha elections.
With the BJP seeking to make inroads in Kerala, Prasad noted that Vadakkan was from the "Roman Catholic family" -- an oblique reference to Sonia Gandhi's Christian origins.
Congress leaders in Kerala, however, insisted that Vadakkan's departure was a non-issue for the party.
Congress spokesperson Joseph Vazhakken said in Thiruvananthapuram: "We have only seen Vadakkan on TV channels. In Kerala he has had no space or role. His leaving is not going to affect us in any manner."
Congress Secretary and former MLA P.C. Vishnunath said he failed to understand the noise over Vadakkan joining the BJP.
"Vadakkan is one person who will not be able to make any impact even in a local body in Kerala. Who is he? Our only plea to the BJP is to see that they retain him forever," he said.
"Vadakkan is just one. You just wait and see, more are coming. But I will not reveal who they are," said Pillai.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)