New Delhi: Congress leader Tom Vadakkan, a close aide of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, on Thursday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The setback to grand old party comes a few days ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019.

He said that the reason due to which he took the major decision was because of Congress’s reaction to Pulwama terror attack, IAF’s air strike in Balakot and Pakistani Air Force (PAF) fighter jets violating Indian airspace in Nowshera and Poonch sectors of Jammu and Kashmir.

Vadakkan, who joined the BJP in the presence of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and later met its president Amit Shah, said, “I am deeply hurt and that is why I am here.”

“I left Congress party because when Pakistani terrorists attacked our land, my party’s reaction to it was sad, it hurt me deeply. If a political party takes such a position that is against the country then I am left with no option but to leave the party,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Addressing the media, he also added that it was not clear within the Congress that who was the power centre, while asserting that he believed in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development narrative.

“I gave my prime of life to the Congress. But dynastic politics is now at its zenith in the party… There’s no place in it for self-respecting people,” he added.

Lok Sabha Elections 2019 schedule was announced by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on March 10 during a press conference by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. The 7-phase elections will begin on April 11 and the counting of votes will be held on May 23.