Congress must reclaim position as India's big tent party: Milind Deora after Jitin exit

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New Delhi, Jun 9 (PTI) Soon after his Congress colleague Jitin Prasada quit the party to join the BJP, Milind Deora on Wednesday said the Congress must reclaim its position as India's big tent party and asserted that it still has a strong bench which, if empowered and optimally utilised, can deliver.

A former chief of the Mumbai Congress, Deora, however, wished that several of his friends, peers and valued colleagues hadn't left the party.

Congress leader Prasada joined the BJP on Wednesday, in a shot in the arm for the saffron party as it prepares for assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh scheduled for early next year.

He joined the BJP in the presence of Union minister Piyush Goyal and its chief spokesperson Anil Baluni.

In an obvious reference to the development, Deora tweeted, 'I believe in @INCIndia as a party that can & must reclaim its position as India's big tent party. We still have a strong bench that if empowered & optimally utilised, can deliver.' 'I only wish that several of my friends, peers & valued colleagues hadn't left us,' the 44-year-old leader said.

Another Congress leader, Kuldeep Bishnoi, described Prasada's exit as a 'huge blow', and said his party needs to identify and empower mass leaders to win back states.

'First @JM_Scindia now @JitinPrasada - huge blows for @incindia as we lose leaders who gave & still had much to give to the Party,' Bishnoi, a Congress MLA from Haryana's Adampur and a former MP, tweeted.

'Agreed, they shouldn’t have abandoned INC esp during troubled waters. But Congress needs to identify & empower mass leaders to win back states,' the 52-year-old leader said.

Deora, Prasada, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot were once considered as the young brigade of the Congress. They had also served in the erstwhile Congress government at the Centre. Scindia and Prasada have left for the BJP, while Pilot and Deora seem to be upset over certain issues in the party and repeatedly called for course correction. PTI ASK SMN SMN

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