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Gourav Vallabh joins BJP hours after quitting 'directionless' Congress

'I can neither raise anti-Sanatan slogans nor abuse wealth creators day in and day out,' Gourav Vallabh wrote in his resignation letter

Gourav Vallabh joins BJP

Gourav Vallabh joins BJP

Nandini Singh New Delhi

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Hours after resigning from the Congress, Gourav Vallabh, the party's national spokesperson, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday. His move adds to the growing number of Congress members switching sides ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.


Vallabh, known for articulating the party's views on finance and economy-related issues during television debates, tendered his resignation in a letter to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge.

Why did Gourav Vallabh resign?


In the letter, Gourav Vallabh criticised the Congress party and called it "directionless". He also expressed his discomfort at raising "anti-Sanatan" slogans or abusing wealth creators of the country.

"I am not able to feel comfortable with the directionless way in which the Congress Party is moving forward today. I can neither raise anti-Sanatan slogans nor abuse the wealth creators of the country in the morning and evening. That is why I am resigning from all posts and primary membership of the Congress Party," he wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

He added, "I am a professor of finance. After joining the Congress party, I was appointed as the national spokesperson. I passionately presented the party's stance on various issues to the people of our country. However, in recent days, I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the party's position."

 

He further expressed his initial belief that the Congress, being the oldest party in the country, valued the input of young intellectuals and their innovative ideas. However, he lamented that in recent years, it became apparent that the party's current form struggles to align itself with the youth and their fresh perspectives.

Who is Gourav Vallabh?

Gourav Vallabh is a professor at the Xavier School of Management (XLRI) in Jamshedpur.

During the 2023 Rajasthan Assembly election, Gourav Vallabh contested from the Udaipur constituency. Despite his diligent campaign, the BJP candidate, Tarachand Jain, emerged victorious with a significant margin, securing 97,466 votes compared to Vallabh's 64,695 votes.

Prior to this, Vallabh commenced his electoral journey in 2019 from Jamshedpur East in Jharkhand. Despite amassing over 18,000 votes, he secured third place, trailing behind the then-incumbent chief minister Raghubar Das and Saryu Roy.

Gourav Vallabh gained prominence subsequent to his confrontation with BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra during a TV debate on the state of the Indian economy. He queried Patra on his knowledge of the number of zeros in five trillion. Patra's attempts to evade the question propelled the video to viral status, garnering considerable attention and praise for Vallabh.

Even within the Congress party, there was newfound respect for him.

After joining the Congress in 2017, he was soon recruited as a media panelist by the party’s then communications head, Randeep Singh Surjewala. He began representing the party in television debates and conducting press briefings, primarily on weekends, leading up to the Lok Sabha elections.

In 2022, Gourav Vallabh hit out at his colleague Shashi Tharoor over his potential bid for All India Congress Committee (AICC) president, claiming that Tharoor's "main contribution" to the party was sending letters to Sonia Gandhi during her hospitalisation. Vallabh's comments referred to a letter sent by a group of 23 leaders, including Tharoor, to Sonia Gandhi in 2020, calling for extensive reforms within the party.

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First Published: Apr 04 2024 | 1:32 PM IST

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