Dehradun, March 21 :
Uttarakhand Congress leader Satpal Maharaj Friday joined the BJP after resigning from the Congress, where, his supporters said, he was feeling “suffocated”.
Welcoming him to the Bharatiya Janta Party, its president Rajnath Singh said it will give the party a “big boost”.
Satpal Maharaj, who represented Paudhi in the outgoing 15h Lok Sabha, resigned from the Congress earlier Friday.
His supporters told IANS that Satpal Maharaj was “feeling suffocated” in the party.
“I am very happy to join the BJP,” Maharaj said.
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.
He decided to quit after his choice of candidates in the Garhwal region was ignored 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 affected by Satpal Maharaj’s exit as 10 legislators are from his camp, sources said.