Satpal Maharaj quits Congress, likely to join BJP

Satpal Maharaj quits Congress, likely to join BJP

22Dehradun, March 21 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Satpal Maharaj Friday resigned from the Congress. He is likely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party later in the day, party sources said.

The senior leader, who is a sitting member of parliament from the Paudhi Lok Sabha constituency in Uttarakhand, has been sulking for some time after he was sidelined.

His supporters told IANS that Maharaj was “feeling suffocated” in the party.

Maharaj has a massive following in the hill state and elsewhere because of his religious sermons, and was first angry at being sidestepped and Harish Rawat being appointed the chief minister.

But he decided to quit after his choice of candidates in the Garhwal region was not agreed to by the Congress high command.

Chief Minister Harish Rawat had met him recently to pacify him, but with little success.

His wife Amrita Rawat is a Congress legislator. The fate of the Congress government in the hill state is also likely to be challenged by Satpal Maharaj’s exit as 10 legislators are from his camp, sources said.

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