New Delhi [India], March 24 (ANI): A half-an-hour car drive of Jitin Prasada with Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday has put to rest all speculation about the former leaving Congress and joining BJP, a close aide of Prasada said.
During the drive with Prasada at the wheels, the Gandhi scion successfully convinced him not to switch his loyalty, he said.
The close aide informed ANI that the duo went on a half-an-hour drive from Tughlak Lane in Delhi to the airport during which Gandhi made efforts to resolve the impasse with Prasada on the Lok Sabha constituency from which he wants to contest.
"Prasada is yet to take a decision on the seat from which he wants to contest. The party now wants him to contest from Lucknow against Rajnath Singh of BJP," he added.
The aide also informed ANI that Prasada has got an assurance from Congress that he will given a Rajya Sabha ticket if he loses in upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Prasada, who was a Minister of State in the UPA-I and UPA-II governments, had lost in 2014 Lok Sabha polls from the Dhaurahra constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
In 2004, Prasada won from Shahjahanpur and in 2009 from Dhaurahra. He also contested 2017 Assembly polls but was defeated by Roshan Lal Verma of BJP.
There was a buzz that Prasada was upset with Congress after the party chose him for the Dhaurahra seat for the Lok Sabha polls.
"Prasad was miffed with two minority candidates who have been fielded from seats adjacent to Dhararura in Kheri and Sitapur by the party. He felt that because of the minority candidates standing in his adjoining constituencies, the polarisation of votes against him will be stronger which will create difficulties for him to win the seat," the source said.
Prasada has also recommended few candidates who will be looked by Congress, the source added.
The Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19. The polls in Uttar Pradesh will be held in all seven phases. The counting of votes will take place on May 23. (ANI)