The BJP has claimed that Yashpal Arya joining the Congress will have no impact on the party's poll prospects in Uttarakhand.
Arya, a minister in the Pushkar Singh Dhami-led government in Uttarakhand, had joined the Congress along with his MLA son Sanjiv Arya on October 11.
Six-time MLA and a prominent Dalit leader, Arya had joined the BJP from the Congress before the last Assembly elections in Uttarakhand in 2017. While in Congress, he had served as the Speaker of the Uttarakhand Assembly. He was also the President of the Congress' Uttarakhand unit.
"Arya is a senior leader and he left us to join the Congress, his old party. Arya returning to Congress will have no impact on BJP's poll prospects in the Assembly elections scheduled next year," said a senior BJP functionary.
Another party leader pointed out that Arya was given all the respect and was made a minister in the BJP government.
"Unable to adjust to BJP's style of working, which puts nation before family, may be one of the reasons for Arya to leave the BJP," he said.
A senior saffron party leader said that BJP was getting the votes from all sections of the society even before Arya had joined the party in 2017, and it will continue to get votes even after he left.
"There will be no visible impact on BJP of Arya joining the Congress," he said.
"Before Arya left us, an influential Dalit leader and Congress MLA, Rajkumar, had joined the BJP having influence across the state. Whatever loss we are supposed to suffer due to Arya's exit will be compensated by Rajkumar. Another thing is that the BJP is a cadre-based party where joining and leaving of an individual has little impact," he said.
Before Rajkumar, an Independent MLA from Dhanolti, Pritam Singh Panwar, had joined the BJP.
Uttarakhand BJP chief Madan Kaushik had earlier told IANS that more people will join the party before the Assembly polls.
"Many leaders from opposition parties have approached us with the wish to join the BJP. Many big names from other political parties will join the BJP before the Assembly polls in Uttarakhand. Every month, some big names will join the BJP," he had said.