Senior Congress leader and Haldwani legislator Indira Hridayesh recently announced that a senior BJP leader is likely to join the Congress during the public rally of party president Rahul Gandhi, triggering wild speculation in the hill state. The Rahul Gandhi rally is scheduled to take place in Dehradun on 16 March.

There are rumours that Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj is annoyed with the BJP and is all set to rejoin his old party Congress. Satpal Maharaj provided a clarification on this on Wednesday by claiming, “Congress is spreading the rumour to gather crowds for the rally. I will be campaigning for BJP in different parts of India. No BJP leader is joining Congress.”

The Uttarakhand Congress is busy preparing for Rahul Gandhi’s rally. Office-bearers of the state Congress are tightlipped on the claim made by Indira Hridayesh.

Addressing party workers in Haldwani earlier this week, Hridayesh disclosed, “One senior BJP leader will join Congress during Rahul Gandhi’s public rally in Dehradun on March 16.”

After ten senior Congress leaders staged a revolt against the then Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat to join the BJP, there is a lack of big
names in Congress. The party is likely to field new faces in many Lok Sabha seats from Uttarakhand.

Amid media speculation, Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt said, “I don’t think any BJP leader is joining Congress. Who will opt to travel on a sinking ship? And the boatman Rahul Gandhi of the ship is making the situation more miserable.”