Uttarakhand Elections: Setback for BJP as minister Yashpal Arya, son Sanjeev join Congress ahead of polls

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Updated: October 11, 2021 12:48 PM

Uttarakhand BJP leader and state cabinet minister Yashpal Arya and his son MLA Sanjeev on Monday joined the Congress in presence of party leaders Harish Rawat and KC Venugopal in Delhi. 

Uttarakhand BJP leader and state cabinet minister Yashpal Arya and his son MLA Sanjeev on Monday joined the Congress in presence of party leaders Harish Rawat and KC Venugopal in Delhi. 

Uttarakhand BJP leader and state cabinet minister Yashpal Arya and his son MLA Sanjeev on Monday joined the Congress in presence of party leaders Harish Rawat and KC Venugopal in Delhi. This comes as a big blow to the BJP ahead of the assembly polls in the state which are less than five months away.

“He (Yashpal) has just tendered resignation from the post of Uttarakhand Cabinet Minister,” said Congress leader Randeep Surjewala.

Yashpal Arya is the MLA from Bajpur and his son Sanjeev Arya from Nainital seat. Yashpal Arya was a minister in the Pushkar Singh Dhami government and held six departments – Transport, Social Welfare, Minority Welfare, Student Welfare, Election and Excise Departments.

Yashpal and Sanjeev Arya had left the Congress and joined the BJP in 2017, winning from their respective seats. After this, the BJP government made Yashpal Arya a cabinet minister. Yashpal has also been the Speaker of the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly in the past. Yashpal Arya first became MLA from Khatima Sitarganj seat in 1989.

Yashpal Arya Arya had quit the Congress ahead of the 2017 Assembly elections as he was reportedly upset with the then chief minister Harish Rawat’s style of functioning. The real reason, perhaps, was the Congress’s reluctance to field his son in the elections. The BJP then promptly fielded Sanjeev Arya from the Nainital seat which he won.

The Indian Express quoted sources saying that Yashpal Arya had been upset with the elevation of Dhami as the Chief Minister. The BJP had also tried to placate him. In fact, Dhami himself went to Arya’s residence for a breakfast meeting on September 25 amid reports of his unhappiness.

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