Veteran BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh minister Dr Ramkrishna Kusumaria Friday joined the Congress in the presence of party president Rahul Gandhi. The senior leader joined the ruling party in the state at `Aabhar rally', attended by farmers who benefited from the loan waiver scheme announced by the newly-elected Congress government. Kusumaria was formally inducted into the party by Congress general secretary in-charge of the state Deepak Babaria, who offered him a `soot ki mala' (garland of handspun). In his speech, Kusumaria accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of "ignoring and disrespecting its senior leaders". He won assembly election for the first time from Hatta in Damoh district in 1977. Later he won Lok Sabha election from Damoh four times and once from Khajuraho. Kusumaria was a minister in Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in 2008. Praising Rahul Gandhi and chief minister Kamal Nath, he said the country and the state would prosper under their leadership and "good days" will come. Kusumaria was denied ticket by the BJP in 2018 assembly polls. He contested as independent from Damoh but secured only 1,133 votes and lost his deposit. Besides Kusumaria, RPI leader Doman Singh Nagpure, who was a minister in Digvijay Singh government, also joined the Congress during the event.