Noida: The Congress on Thursday suffered a major jolt when Ramesh Chandra Tomar, its candidate from the Gautam Buddha Nagar Lok Sabha seat here, defected to the BJP barely a week ahead of the general election.
Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi. File pic
Tomar, who till late Wednesday was vouching for the Congress, did a U-turn Thursday and joined his earlier party in presence of Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh.
Tomar said he took the decision to join the BJP as "there was a pro-Modi wave in the country" and that he did not want to be left behind in the nation's endeavour to make Narendra Modi the next prime minister.
Voting for the Gautam Buddha Nagar seat will take place April 10.
Tomar also predicted a clean sweep for the BJP in western Uttar Pradesh, saying the Congress will draw a blank in the 10 seats that go to polls April 10.
"Due to emotional reasons, I had left the BJP five years back but now I am back home and will contribute to the victory of the party," he told IANS.
Meanwhile, angry Congress workers raised slogans against Tomar and said he had entered into a secret deal with the BJP.
Mahesh Sharma, owner of a major private hospital in Noida, is the BJP candidate from the constituency.