Lucknow, Jan 25: Former Union Minister RPN Singh has resigned from the Congress party and is set to join the BJP ahead of upcoming UP assembly elections.
RPN Singh quit the Congress today amid reports that he is switching to the BJP just weeks before the Uttar Pradesh election.
RPN Singh, who is from eastern UP's Kushinagar, was among the Congress' biggest leaders in Uttar Pradesh and its Jharkhand in-charge. He posted his resignation letter, addressed to Sonia Gandhi, on Twitter.
"Today, at a time, we are celebrating the formation of our great Republic, I begin a new chapter in my political journey. Jai Hind," he wrote, sharing his brief letter.
Reports suggest Mr Singh may contest as a BJP candidate in Padrauna, his stronghold, opposite Swami Prasad Maurya, who recently quit the BJP.
Mr Singh has been an MLA from Padrauna for three terms. He was elected as an MP in 2009 but lost in 2014. Swami Prasad Maurya won the last two state polls from the Padrauna seat, first as a BSP candidate and then as a candidate of the BJP.
Earlier today, Mr Singh changed his Twitter bio and dropped "Congress", firing massive speculation. "My motto India, First, Always," reads his bio, which earlier said AICC (All India Congress Committee) in-charge.
This is the second big exit from the Congress in Uttar Pradesh after Jitin Prasada quit last year. Mr Prasada, once a close Rahul Gandhi aide like Mr Singh, joined the BJP and later became a minister in the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath.
The Congress has lost many top leaders over the past two years. The shock exit of Jyotiraditya Scindia in 2020 was among the triggers for a big churn in the party that led to 23 leaders writing to Sonia Gandhi asking for "visible and full-time" leadership and collective decision-making.