Opposition Congress party, former MLA and AICC member Rakesh Kalia today joined ruling BJP after was denied party ticket from Chintpurni assembly constituency. In a major set back to Congress, the three-time MLA of the party and former secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), has joined BJP on the closing date of nominations on Tuesday.
Kalia had lost last assembly poll from Chintpurni, and Congress, this time, made a young face Chaitanya Sharma as their party candidate. Reportedly, angered by this, Kalia left Congress and joined the BJP.
Kalia has been MLA from Chintpurni assembly seat once and from Gagret seat twice. Rakesh Kalia had a meeting with his supporters recently after not getting a Congress ticket from Gagret. Kalia was in touch with BJP leaders since several days. Kalia, who became an MLA for the first time in 2003, has been counted among the fiercest leaders of the Congress. In 2003, he contested for the first time on a Congress ticket and won. In 2007, Rakesh Kalia won the triangular contest by a margin of 16135 votes and became MLA for the second time in a row. In 2012, the Gagret seat was reserved. After this Rakesh Kalia had to change his constituency. Then he contested from Chintpurni on Congress ticket. From here also Kalia managed to win the election. Kalia, who was CPS in the Virbhadra government, was also the Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) in the former Virbhadra government.
During this tenure as the secretary of AICC, he also held the post of Congress co-in-charge of Madhya Pradesh. In 2017 Rakesh Kalia contested from Gagret, but lost the election to Rajesh Thakur of BJP.
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