'Vadakkan? He's not a big leader,' says Rahul

Tom Vadakkan quit Congress and joined BJP on Thursday

tom-vadakkan-amit-shah-bjp-pti BJP National President Amit Shah is being presented a bouquet by former Congress leader Tom Vadakkan after the former joined Bharatiya Janta Party, in New Delhi, Thursday | PTI

A day after Tom Vadakkan, a former close aide of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, resigned from the Congress and joined the BJP, party president Rahul Gandhi sought to downplay his exit saying he was not a big leader.

“"Vadakkan? No no.. he is not a big leader," Rahul responded to media at Raipur airport when asked about it.

Vadakkan, a senior leader from Kerala, joined the BJP on Thursday in protest against the Congress party's stand over India's Balakot operation.

Vadakkan, who joined the saffron party in the presence of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and later met its president Amit Shah, said the Congress had questioned the integrity of the armed forces.

"The attack by Pakistani terrorists on our land and the reaction by my party was sad indeed. It hurt me deeply when the integrity of armed forces was questioned. That is precisely the reason why I am here. It is not about ideology but about patriotism," he said.

With inputs from PTI