In a setback to the ruling BJP in Uttarakhand months ahead of the Assembly elections, state minister Yashpal Arya quit the party on Monday and rejoined the Congress. His MLA son Sanjeev Arya too joined the Congress.

A six-time MLA and prominent Dalit leader, Yashpal Arya is the Transport Minister in the Pushkar Singh Dhami government. Also a former president of the Uttarakhand Congress, Arya had quit the party and joined the BJP ahead of the 2017 Assembly elections as he was reportedly upset with the then chief minister Harish Rawat’s style of functioning.

The real reason, perhaps, was the Congress’s reluctance to field his son in the elections. The BJP then promptly fielded Sanjeev Arya from the Nainital seat which he won.

Sources said Yashpal Arya had been upset with the elevation of Dhami as the Chief Minister. The BJP had also tried to placate him. In fact, Dhami himself went to Arya’s residence for a breakfast meeting on September 25 amid reports of his unhappiness.

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